TYLER, TX (KLTV) -The government shutdown is directly impacting benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.
If you're one of the many people affected by this, you can reach out to the United Way of Smith County for help.
Employees at United Way of Smith County are trying to make a difference for people impacted by the shutdown.
Nan Moore, the CEO and President of United Way of Smith County, said,” it really is helping someone in a situation where it feels dire to them. We can calm them down and bring them to a solution, so they can get through to the next month.”
The smith County helps onne phone call at a time.
“We are blessed to parent the 211 call center for the East Texas are, which is a service that connects people that have needs to the services that are available,” Moore added.
Through its 211 hotline service, United Way is dedicated to helping people who are affected by the government shutdown by connecting them with resources like food pantries, utility services, and more, Moore said.
“We really established 211 to keep people that have non-emergencies from calling 911 for assistance with food, shelter, utilities, or child care,” Moore said.
She said they are receiving dozens of calls from individuals who receive SNAP benefits who are confused and concerned. The government has already processed January and February SNAP benefits, but it failed to notify the recipients.
“We are getting a lot of calls from people who receive government benefits and are concerned whether their benefits are going to be in their mail box or in their bank account," Moore said.
Because United Way is supported by so many local businesses and organizations, they have put together a comprehensive list of local resources, and they encourage families to call if they want to know what’s available.
“We’re only as good as the services that are out there. We can only refer people to those things that exist, so we work very closely with the nonprofits in the community,” Moore explained.
The United Way says it’s important to communicate and call 211 to find out what help is available