AUSTIN --- There is a growing concern about what a federal government shutdown could mean for Central Texas food banks and pantries.
“If it happens in D.C. it happens here,” says Sara LeStrange with the Capital Area Food Bank. The agency gets 30 percent of its food from the U.S.D.A. and another federal program.
LeStrange says, while there is no statistical data yet, she is hearing concerns from pantry workers in the 21 counties served by the Capital Area Food Bank. Those sites say some of the lines of people waiting for food are getting longer.
For now, those soup kitchens and pantries who rely on the C.A.F.B. are okay. But that could change if the government shutdown continues.
“All of the orders that have been placed, or (that) are in process, are alright. So they're still happening.
But if this goes on for too long then those orders will be affected,” added LeStrange.
Compounding the federal impact to Texas is a lack of commercial truck drivers in the state. Some theorize that those drivers are being lost to the booming oil industry.
“There aren't enough commercial drivers. So right now, even if we had more food, we wouldn't have more drivers to help us deliver it,” said LeStrange.
For more on how you can help donate or volunteer with the Capital Area Food Bank, click here.