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WAFER Food Pantry bracing for impact from federal shutdown



The government shutdown is beginning to show it’s effects locally in La Crosse.

The WAFER Food Pantry says they had their first federal worker stop by last week, grabbing the essential items.

Director Erin Waldhart says they are monitoring the situation closely.

Waldhart says, “We’re trying to remain calm here, but we’re also realistic that the longer this drags on, we’re going to see the impact of the food budget for the people that we serve.”

Federal officials say funding for the SNAP benefits, commonly known as food stamps, may run out in March.

Waldhart says they are trying to get the message out that it’s ok to ask for help.

As for the federal worker who stopped by, she says the biggest hurdle for people is coming through the door.

“I’m glad that person felt like it was a safe enough place, and a non judgemental atmosphere”, Waldhart said. “These people didn’t ask for this and it’s tough to plan for. You have a job and you expect to be working.”

Waldhart says they are in constant communication with Ron Kind and Ron Johnson’s offices.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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