LEE COUNTY, Fla - Food banks across the country could face big shortages if the government shutdown continues for more than three weeks and they stop delivering supplies.
Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers serves 30,000 people a month in five counties. "For now, things seem to be fine," says Miriam Pereria, Development Director for Harry Chapin. "What happens next month? Who knows. That's when we may start to feel it more."
10 percent of the food at Harry Chapin is from the federal government. In fact right now there is 200,000 pounds of food here in the warehouse from the USDA. Leaders here fear if the government shutdown continues. It will be like seeing five tractor trailers full of food completely disappear.
"It's already difficult enough to get that food through the government and now it's going to become even more difficult," says Pereria.
Pereria also thinks more people will need to turn to the food bank if the shutdown continues through the end of the month.
"If they're low income families, if they work and have low income jobs and they're relying on some other assistance and if that assistance dries up, then yes they're going to turn to us," says Pereria.
If the need grows and resources are cut, Pereria says the food bank have to lean on the community for help. "It's going to become more difficult the longer this lasts."
The shutdown could also affect the price of food at the grocery store. Right now, there are no federal food inspections. That means production may be slower which leads to a lower supply.