Prior to the narrowly-averted government shutdown, back on September 30th, Senator Gillibrand held a press conference in which she detailed the true human cost of such a shutdown.
This is the cost to the real, living people that work for the federal government on many levels, the vast majority of whom would either not have a job for a short period of time, or they would not receive a salary for that period of time.
As many recent studies have revealed to us, most people, including those that work for the government, would be unable to afford an emergency costing a mere $500, such as a car repair or other emergency. A shutdown lasting multiple weeks would likely make life much harder for such workers.
If the government shuts down, these people are placed on a precipice once again, where they must choose among basic necessities, as there is not enough money to pay for their lives. In some case, they are lucky enough to be near a well-stocked food pantry or soup kitchen, but this is unfortunately not always so.
As many reported during the pandemic, the food pantries did not have the supply to meet an increased demand, which would likely be the case once again if there was a surge in demand for food and other basic necessities due to such a freeze. This article details what the food banks were preparing for in advance of the anticipated shutdown back in September.
This is also already an issue in New York City. including on Staten Island, as the demand is already surging in certain communities for food bank assistance.
This article details some of the issues food pantries were facing months ago due to the expiration of several COVID-era assistance programs.
View the detailed article from Senator Gillibrand about the press conference here.
Banner Image: Government Shutdown video cover. Image Credit – Staten Islander News