Food pantry faces dwindling supply due to government shutdown fallout

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

The federal government shutdown is now in the past, but charitable organizations in Connecticut are still dealing with some of the fallout.

The Bridgeport Rescue Mission food pantry already having a busy week -- it opened Monday to a line of people already waiting. Organizers say that's because many of families depend on food stamps that have already run out for the month, days or weeks ago.

SNAP benefits usually come out on the first of each month, but with the shutdown looming, the state released February's benefits about a week early. That means many families' benefits are already spent, with no more coming until the first of March.

Executive Director Terry Wilcox says Bridgeport Rescue Mission has seen a 50 percent increase in clients for pantry food and hot meals. Wilcox says he's always happy to provide for those in need, but says the extra workload has left the pantry's food stores dangerously low.

"Where we have shelves that usually have a good bit of food on them, the shelves are getting bare, and that gets alarming to me," says Wilcox. "I realize that we gave a lot more food going out than usually goes out, so we'd better find some way to get some food coming in."

Wilcox says the mission needs food or monetary donations more than ever.

MORE INFORMATION: Bridgeport Rescue Mission - Ways to Give

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