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Federal shutdown hurting the hungry

CHAMPAIGN -- The federal government shutdown isn't only about money.
CHAMPAIGN -- The federal government shutdown isn't only about money. For some, it's the difference between eating and not eating. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

Some of the neediest people in the area will feel the pinch. The federal government usually contributes more than $92-million a year to food pantries and soup kitchens.

So, with a lot of uncertainty on the table, local leaders are doing what they can to make sure families don't go hungry. When you think about how much it costs to put a hot meal on the table, consider the people doing it for free.

"We're lucky to do it."

All volunteers, this group counts its blessings. That's because the soup kitchen can still afford to fill hundreds of hungry stomachs every day.

But, when you toss a federal government shutdown into the mix, it leaves a sour taste in your mouth.

"We worry about how it affects our guests. It's not about us. It's only about them. We need to make sure they're taking care of and they have the basic need of life; food."

And they get their food from the food bank across town.

"If the food bank had a problem, we'd have a problem."

"If they're seeing an increased need, then we're going to see an increased need."

This cycle of hunger keeps going just like the shipments of food moving in and out.

"Continuously. Donations may increase when there's a time of need, but it's really, what can we do?"

"The food bank is our lifeblood, so without the food bank, we'd not be where we need to be."

Even though it make take time to understand the full effects of the shutdown, these volunteers just want to make sure their guests get by each day with a hot meal on their plates.

Volunteers serve about 150,000 meals a year at Daily Bread. They say, usually, it's a little slower during the beginning of the month, but as it goes on, they see more and more in need.
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