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St. Mary's Food Bank braces for possible government shutdown

Food Bank
Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 21:46:44-04

PHOENIX — Lawmakers have until Thursday night to approve a federal spending plan or risk shutting down the government.

Many remember when it happened in 2019 and lasted for several weeks. About 800,000 federal employees were furloughed including many in Arizona.

St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix provided a lot of employees and their families with food while their paychecks were delayed.

"We've been through that a couple of times here at the food bank. It's certainly not something we want to experience again if we can avoid it," said Jerry Brown, the nonprofit's director of public relations.

According to Brown, the group helped out TSA workers and employees with the Indian Medical Center and Grand Canyon.

For months, food banks and nonprofits have been helping families get through the pandemic.

Brown told ABC15 that the coronavirus proved the group is able to increase distribution but he hopes it doesn't come to that.

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, St. Mary's distributed about 10 million pounds of food each month.

"We're not distributing that much right now," he said.

"We're probably more in the six to seven million pound range but if we need to ratchet it up we can. So we'll keep an eye on the situation," Brown added.

If you or someone you know needs assistance with food, call St. Mary's at 602-242-FOOD (3663).