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El Paso’s food bank affected by partial government shutdown

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Federal employees aren’t the only ones being affected by the partial government shutdown, but El Paso’s only food bank is also feeling the pinch.

El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank partners with several food pantries in El Paso to help feed people in need.

Susan Goodell is the CEO of El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, her organization is having to adjust because of the government shutdown.

“The government shutdown has just been a disaster for the food bank,” Goodell said. “We’re really struggling to figure out how we’re going to get through the next few months.”

Millions of Texans just received their food stamps almost a month in advance.

That’s going to be the final deposit until the government opens because the federal assistance program runs out of funding in February.

If that happens, that means more people will be relying on the food bank for help and that’s on top of the federal employees already using the food bank because they still aren’t getting paid.

“At the same time that the funding and that food is in jeopardy, we’re looking at massively increase numbers of people coming to our doors,” Goodell said.

Goodell says a strong pouring of donations in 2018 put the food bank in good shape, but a prolonged shutdown could cause challenges.

“We have the resources to help the people in need,” Goodell said. “If this government shutdown is protracted however, that’s where we’re seeing that food dwindle and the resources to restock going away.”

A quarter of the monthly funding for the food bank comes from the federal government and a third of the food the food bank receives comes from federal programs.

The warehouse is fully stocked now, but they’re preparing for the worst and they need help.

Anyone interested in helping the El Pasoans Fighting Food Bank can go to their website to learn how they can donate money, food or organize a food drive.

“We worked our tails off last year to make sure that we had the food in this food bank in the case of an emergency,” Goodell said. “Well the emergency is here, if people need help, come to the food bank.”

The warehouse for the food bank is located at 9541 Plaza Circle.

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