Shutdown Puts Food Assistance Programs in Jeopardy

The partial government shutdown isn't just impacting federal workers. It's also a growing source of stress for families who rely on services.

Carmen Gonzalez is a retired grandmother on disability. She relies on her monthly $125 Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to feed her family. She says she got the money for January, but she's constantly worried about next month.

"It's tiring and stressful, and anxiety grows every day," she said. "It's really hard and if they really shut down the government, how we suppose to survive?"

The Department of Transitional Assistance, which runs SNAP, says it's funded through January, but the agency is uncertain what will happen if the shutdown stretches into February.

For now, Gonzalez stretches her money by shopping at Daily Table in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. The non-profit grocery story is focused on fresh, nutritious foods for low-income families.

"We're offering great value so you can afford to choose to eat healthy," said Michael Malmberg, COO of Daily Table.

The store has seen an uptick of families filling their carts.

"They don't know where the next check is coming from or the next bit of food for them," said Shameka Evans, who works at Daily Table.

Gonzalez says she has no more corners to cut, and she's down to trying to survive.

"They're not thinking about small people. They're not thinking about us," she said. "They do what they want to do, but what about us? What are we supposed to do?”

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