Amid Government Shutdown, Cleveland Food Bank Says It Can Help

Cleveland. (Tony Ganzer / ideastream)
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The Greater Cleveland Food Bank can't say whether the government shutdown has prompted increased demand, but it wants people to know it can help if they need it.

The government shutdown has stretched about three weeks, and it’s unclear how much longer it may go.

“The food bank community has been talking about what the implications are of the shutdown, what we should anticipate, what could be happening, and so we decided we want to make sure people know we are there to help people,” says Karen Pozna, the food bank’s communications director. “As we had gotten inquiries, we’re thinking, okay, there could be a lot more people out there that may be wondering where they can turn to for help. We wanted to make sure they know they can come to the food bank.”

The food bank sent out a notice Thursday saying “federal employees or others may find themselves having to choose between food or other necessary expenses.” 

Pozna says the food bank can act as a stop-gap for people hit by something unexpected, whether it’s a shutdown or an unexpected bill.

“They find themselves in a situation where they just have no idea where to turn. It’s like they could have some type of emergency that happens in their family, whether it’s a job loss, or a medical emergency, or even their car breaks down, and they have expenses associated with fixing their car that they didn’t anticipate,” Pozna says. 

The food bank has ties with other organizations or programs to help with things like high utility costs, which Pozna wants people to know about just in case. 

“It could be a one-time visit to help them through that month, or over a few months,” Pozna says. “But we want people to know that we’re there to be able to help them out through those difficult times.”

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