(OKLAHOMA CITY) — Jan. 19, 2018 – The federal government is operating under a continuing resolution to fund the government that is set to expire at midnight today, Jan. 19. If Congress fails to pass a spending bill, the government will shut down, resulting in dire consequences for both Oklahomans who rely upon federal nutrition programs and for many federal employees whose paychecks will stop.
“In the event of a shutdown, we could see an increase in the number of Oklahomans turning to the Regional Food Bank and our partner agencies for food assistance,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. “By law, most federal employees' pay would immediately stop during a shutdown. This could send families into distress and cause them to make tough choices, like paying for food or housing and utilities.”
The shutdown could also have a detrimental impact on federal nutrition programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Last year, SNAP provided food assistance for nearly 875,000 Oklahomans, and is a ladder to economic security for hardworking Oklahomans.
“SNAP benefits should be made a priority,” said Fitzgerald. “I encourage members of Congress to meet Oklahomans who receive SNAP and hear their stories. They need our help and, it’s up to us as a country to provide it. The Regional Food Bank is preparing for the real possibility of increased demand for food assistance should a shutdown occur.”
Oklahoma is consistently one of the hungriest states in the nation, where one in six residents has inconsistent access to healthy food. Each week, the Regional Food Bank provides enough food to feed more than 136,000 Oklahomans; however, it is not enough. That’s why SNAP and government assistance programs are so important.
Call on members of Congress to keep the government running. For more information on the Regional Food Bank visit regionalfoodbank.org or call 405-972-1111.
About the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization and a member of Feeding America’s network of Food Banks. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides enough food to feed more than 136,000 hungry Oklahomans each week through a network of more than 1,300 schools and charitable feeding programs in 53 central and western Oklahoma counties. Since its inception in 1980, the Regional Food Bank has distributed more than 613 million pounds of food to feed Oklahomans living with hunger. For more information, visit http://www.regionalfoodbank.org; find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/regionalfoodbank or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/rfbo.