Shutdown brings fear, uncertainty to those relying on food stamps | KOB 4
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Shutdown brings fear, uncertainty to those relying on food stamps

Kassi Nelson
January 21, 2019 07:40 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Those who work with a nonprofit to house the homeless in Albuquerque said the government shutdown has brought uncertainty and fear to many families they work with. A major concern is keeping refrigerators full. 

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Mildred Woods doesn’t mind being in the kitchen because it’s hers. Until December she and her two young children lived in a motel. 

“Kids don’t need to be in a motel period,” Woods said. 

Now the family lives in an apartment in Northeast Albuquerque thanks to help from Heading Home. To fill their fridge, Woods relies on food stamps. She said her kids have big appetites. 

“Mostly my boy he’s 5-years-old he wants to eat a lot,” she said. 

Because of the government shutdown her benefits for the month of February kicked in on January 20th. That means Woods might have to be careful at the grocery store. 

“So if we’re talking about $160 to $200 dollars for a family of three to budget that out for a six week period and a lot of times our clients use their food stamps by about the third week into the month,” Heading Home Housing Director Dorothee Otero said. 

Otero said it’s possible some of their clients will run out of food money well before the end of February. 

“We try to create recipes that allow them to stretch their food budget a little but not everybody is there yet,” Otero said. 

Some forgot to renew their benefits altogether. While Heading Home has boxes of food they can give out Otero said it won’t go far. 

“We only get ten boxes of food a month,” she said. 

We also have foodbanks to help the hungry, but we know some of our local foodbanks have a lower supply than usual and are seeing more of a demand during the shutdown. 

The possibility of being without food, or those benefits running out completely is a scary thought for Woods. But she tries to focus on how far she’s come. 

“God is watching and I have people helping me,” she said. 

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Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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