Many agencies across the country have closed due to the government shutdown, and as a result, many individuals have been affected. The impact of the government shutdown is not limited to government workers, but extends to those from varying backgrounds, career levels, and geographical location.
As always, and especially during this time of great uncertainty, we are doing all we can to help those families and individuals using our social services in South St. Louis City.
One of the major programs affected by the shutdown is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP and commonly referred to as food stamps. More than 38 million people- overwhelmingly children, seniors, and people with disabilities- rely on SNAP, including many of the people who visit our food pantry.
At Guardian Angel, we do a lot of SNAP advocacy for our food pantry clients, ensuring they are signed up for this food assistance program. Currently, SNAP dollars are funded through February, but the allocations of these payments is uncertain. In the meantime we’re encouraging families to do a few things in regard to their food, such as stocking up on non-perishable items and cooking large “batch meals,” and keeping leftovers in the freezer (if applicable) to prevent waste.
Financial survival is a top concern during the government shutdown for both furloughed federal workers without income, and even the many other Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck. Many of our clients rely on tax returns to catch up on utility bills, back rent and recoup from the holiday season, but with the shutdown, there’s a chance these refunds will be delayed.
To stay financially afloat, Guardian Angel is helping families with our various counseling, classes and workshops on topics like, utility assistance, financial literacy, and negotiating payments (with landlords and/or utility companies).
If the shutdown continues, subsidized housing could be at risk. During this time, our Emergency Assistance Program could be of great help to families or individuals by providing them with direct assistance to prevent eviction, foreclosure or utility shut-off.
For more information or to support our social services programs, please visit https://gasastl.org/about-our-social-service-programs/ or call at (314) 773 – 9027.