Low Income Senior Citizens Feeling Impact From Government Shutdown

Posted at 10:09 PM, Oct 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-10 06:38:43-04

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — As of Day 9 of the federal government shutdown, the impact is continuing to be felt in more and more places.  One Kent County organization scrambling to find out how they’re going to help feed more than 1,500 low-income senior citizens.

The Area Community Services Employment and Training Council has a variety of programs in jeopardy. Among them is the food supplement program. Executive Director Jacob Maas says they had to shut down distribution for the month of October.

Maas got word on October 2 that the program, run through the USDA’s Food and Nutrition service, was shutting down non-essential operations. “If we were continuing to operate the program, we would be operating at our own risk and our own liability, and unfortunately we might not be reimbursed.”

The problem: the boxes of nutritional food to help seniors get by are distributed to nine different locations across the county. “I just can’t afford to pay for the trucks and the staff it takes,” Maas said.

The council also had to temporarily lay off 11 workers. Maas says the agency is trying to get creative, working with the state and volunteers to help get the food distributed.

If you would like to help you contact Judy Carson at