After the government shutdown put their food budget in jeopardy, the Children’s Emergency Shelter in Fort Smith received good news Thursday.
Via email the shelter was notified that United States Department of Agriculture food service programs, like the one that keeps them supplied with meals for almost 30 kids every day, have been moved into an essential services category. The USDA restored their funding for food, allowing the shelter to be reimbursed for any food purchases they make.
The shelter spends up to $2,000 a month on meals for the children placed in their emergency care for up to six weeks at a time.
When word got out that the government shutdown would hinder the shelter’s efforts to restock the pantry this month, many members of the River Valley and businesses stepped in with donations of fruit, cereal and other items.
However, with no clear answer on when normal operations will resume in Washington, D.C. and among federal offices across the country, donations will still remain invaluable for places like the Children’s Emergency Shelter.
The shelter is always in need of frozen meals like lasagna or Salisbury steak, grilled chicken or nuggets and fish sticks. Paper, toiletry, and household items are also accepted.
Mercy Fort Smith plans to hold a chain drive for supplies for the shelter during the month of October.