NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The government shutdown has temporarily defunded programs that help provide millions of Americans with food and other crucial services.
Congress failed to pass a budget before its midnight Monday deadline due to sniping over President Barack Obama’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of government workers have been furloughed, national parks have shuttered and other federal services have slowed or closed operations.
Why Hunger, which operates the National Hunger Hotline, said the shutdown will freeze distribution of food to millions of elderly, pregnant women, young children and others.
“This is not simply an abstraction…this is the real thing of people who are hungry who will not be able to eat as long as this government shutdown continues,” Bill Ayers of Why Hunger told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott. WCBS 880 is a partner in Why Hunger’s annual fall fundraising effort.
Due to the shutdown, the National Hunger Hotline will go on unfunded. However, operations will continue answering called to 1-866-3-HUNGRY without compensation.
“We’re going to continue and the reason we can do that…it’s because of the Hungerthon. You guys raise a lot of money for us, and not just you but all the CBS stations in New York,” Ayres told Scott.
The shutdown will end once Congress is able to pass a budget, but there is no timetable for when that might happen.
Until then, programs will remain unfunded.
“We have the best emergency food system in the world,” said Ayres. “I don’t know how long they’re going to be able to go.”
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