Open in App
WPXI Pittsburgh

Westmoreland Food Bank explains impact government shutdown could have on local families

By Pete DeLuca,


A federal government shutdown is looming. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

Westmoreland Food Bank CEO Jennifer Miller is concerned.

“This could not be worse timing,” she said.

According to Miller, the food bank is already busier than ever thanks in part to inflation and rising gas prices.

“We used to see three to five emergencies, that’s people who walk in and say, ‘I need food, or I need to get started in the pantry system,’ we used to see three to five a month. We’re seeing three to five a day,” Miller explained.

Despite that, Miller says the Westmoreland Food Bank is prepared to handle an influx of visitors throughout the pending shutdown, including Westmoreland County’s 200 federal employees.

“That’s 200 people, 200 households that will not have an income because of the shutdown,” Miller said. “They’re going to get it eventually, but what do they do in the meantime?”

According to Miller, WIC benefits for women, infants, and children under 5 could run out in just a matter of days.

That would impact more than 178,000 people statewide, including 2,500 in Westmoreland and 9,800 in Allegheny Counties.

“The fact that children could not get the nourishment that they need because of the shutdown, that’s going to increase the reliance on food banks,” Miller said.

SNAP benefits — relied on by 14% of Pennsylvanians — will continue briefly, but a lengthy shutdown could disrupt those as well.

“Everybody is going to get their SNAP benefits through October, for sure, however, after October, if it continues to last that long, November is not a guarantee,” Miller said.

To get help from the Westmoreland Food Bank, visit or call 724-468-8660.

Download the FREE WPXI News app for breaking news alerts.

Follow Channel 11 News on Facebook and Twitter . | Watch WPXI NOW


  • Local Rite Aid is 1 of 500 locations nationwide slated to close
  • Man allegedly assaulted usher with liquor bottles at PPG Paints Arena at Aerosmith concert
  • Local mother of graduate killed hours after receiving degree looking to continue his legacy
  • VIDEO: Longest-serving crossing guard in Castle Shannon weighs retirement after nearly 50 years of service
  • DOWNLOAD the Channel 11 News app for breaking news alerts

  • Expand All
    Comments / 0
    Add a Comment
    Most Popular newsMost Popular

    Comments / 0