NORWALK - Local food banks are bracing for a potential crisis as nearly half a million people in Connecticut could be cut off from their food stamps due to another federal government shutdown.

In the event of a shutdown, the federal government will stop paying food stamp, or SNAP, benefits to Connecticut residents. SNAP benefits could run out next Thursday.

Advocates say it is the worst possible timing.

"They're not going to be able to pay their rent," says Kate Lombardo, of The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County. "They're not going to be able to feed their children appropriately."

Volunteers are doing what they can to stock the food banks, wondering why the poor are caught in a congressional stalemate.

"The poor are not pawns. They're human beings," says Lombardo

Food banks say many people are still unaware this could happen and will be shocked to learn they do not have money to spend at food banks come next week.