A D.C. organization is launching an emergency response effort to help those who may be impacted by the potential government shutdown.
Starting Monday, DC Central Kitchen’s mobile meal trucks will begin offering free meals to anyone in need at the Ronald Reagan Building Moynihan Plaza and THEARC.
Alexander Moore, chief development officer for DC Central Kitchen, said the organization serves thousands of meals across the District every day – partnering with schools and nonprofits.
The "beating heart" of the organization is the culinary training they offer the community to help people begin careers, Moore said.
"Food brings everyone together," he said. "Food is certainly a powerful tool to strengthen bodies and nourish us, but it’s also something that we all need. It’s something that helps us think differently about the challenges we all face."
The next challenge could come as soon as this weekend, as the U.S. braces for a potential shutdown. With government funding set to run out at the end of the day on Sept. 30, there's still no deal in sight.
If lawmakers do not enact all or some of the appropriation bills, many government operations will come to a halt and result in a full or partial government shutdown.
Under a shutdown, millions of federal employees and military services are not paid until it ends. Those who are in services deemed essential keep working, while non-essential employees are furloughed or temporarily suspended.
"At DC Central Kitchen, we know stepping up in times of crisis, whether it’s a government shutdown whether it’s a pandemic … whether it’s a natural disaster, these are times we realize we can come together, but we can also take on some of the deeper challenges," Moore told FOX 5 Friday.
In 2018, the government shutdown lasted for 35 days.
Casey Burgat, legislative affairs program director at George Washington University, said current budget talks suggest there are not many overlaps in agreements.
"When a shutdown happens, the effects are the same whether Democrats are in charge or with whom they’re disagreeing, but the biggest difference with this one is mostly Republicans disagreeing with themselves and that’s a really different dynamic historically," Burgat said. "We haven’t even gotten to the point where what is acceptable to a Democratic Senate or Democratic White House?"
According to the Dept. of Employment Services, a few hundred thousand people could be impacted if a shutdown happens, and they'll be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. People can start filing as early as Sunday for the upcoming week.
DC Central Kitchen’s mobile food trucks:
Ronald Reagan Building Moynihan Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
11am to 2pm
Monday – Friday
1901 Mississippi Ave SE
2:30pm to 3:30pm
Monday – Friday
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