As we enter day twelve of the government shutdown, Americans everywhere are beginning to feel the impacts. Whether those impacts come in the form of longer lines or being shut out of their local national monument, they really only amount to inconveniences. Some, however, are out of work, or struggle with a much more basic problem: Finding food to eat.
Major services like WIC (a government funded program that provides food staples such as milk, cheese, and eggs to lower income families with children) lost their funding. Once the money they have on hand runs out, families that use the service will have to find other sources for these basic products. Though amazing companies like Food Lion have donated gift certificates, this only remains a viable solution for a short period of time. Those in need are then forced to rely on food banks, which can't handle the demand on a long term basis either.
The Food and Drug Administration is no longer doing routine food safety inspections for domestic and international foods. They have funding for only a few inspectors to review 'at risk' locations. With over 160 inspections a week being missed, does this leave the rest of the businesses on the honor system?
The good news is that essential government functions will continue while the shutdown is in progress. The bad news? Though it is a biological necessity for all human beings, the majority of food related government programs have gone dark. But hey, at least they all got to spend their last bit of funding making neat webpages to let you know they didn't have anymore funding.