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Letter: Hastings Family Service can help during government shutdown

To the editor:

If you are being impacted by the government shutdown, Hastings Family Service can help. Many people are inquiring about the government shutdown and asking, "how is the shutdown impacting our local community?"

HFS doesn't receive federal funding and has not experienced an increase in food shelf requests since the government shutdown. Federal employees have been impacted the most, but so far, we have not served anyone.

HFS is positioned to assist any residents of Independent School District 200 during this national crisis, with food, clothing or financial assistance. Our mission is: "The people of the Hastings area reaching out as Family in support and Service to one another" and that is what we are going to do.

HFS is working closely with Second Harvest Heartland, the Department of Human Services, Dakota County, and our neighboring food shelves to stay informed and to ensure we are positioned to meet the need today and going forward.

The greatest concern is for our neighbors on SNAP. Federal officials say there is enough funding to cover food stamp costs through February, but beyond that, the stability of the program is unclear. Gov. Tim Walz has made a commitment to ensure vulnerable residents continue to get services amid the federal shutdown, but the state may face potential reimbursement fights, staff layoffs and negative economic impacts if the stalemate drags on.

This community has walked alongside HFS so we can walk alongside our neighbors when they need it most. Please go to www.hastingsfamilyservice.org or contact 651-437-7134 for information on how you can receive help.

Chris Koop

Hastings

Chris Koop is the executive director at Hastings Family Service