Central Florida food banks prepare for potential federal government shutdown

Volunteers at Second Harvest Food Bank pack extra boxes

ORLANDO, Fla. – With the possibility of a government shutdown happening Sunday, local nonprofits have been preparing for an additional strain from families who receive food support through federal programs.

At Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, volunteers were packing extra boxes on Friday.

“We’re hoping that our elected officials will be able to come up with a solution,” President and CEO Derrick Chubbs said. “People who are working every day, full-time, day-in and day-out and all of a sudden, things get shut down and they have to adjust.”

Chubbs said the shutdown could mean SNAP and WIC recipients temporarily lose their benefits and turn to food banks for help.

Chubbs said Second Harvest is preparing for the anticipated strain like they would for a natural disaster.

“If there’s a hurricane coming through, we’re prepared to scale to meet whatever need is necessary and, in something like this, we’ll treat it very, very similar,” Chubbs said.

According to the White House, there are 421,294 WIC recipients in Florida.

Chubbs said Second Harvest is in need of donations, but is also prepared with at least a week or two worth of groceries for those who need it.

“We will be here for you and we will be able to serve you like we always do with the level of dignity that you deserve,” Chubbs said.

For details on how to donate or volunteer with Second Harvest Food Bank, visit feedhopenow.org.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.