by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Food banks across North Carolina, already in high demand, are scrambling trying to deal with effects of the shutdown.
Gov. Pat McCrory traveled to Charlotte on Monday to lay out the state's plan to intervene.
The state is releasing $750,000 in funds, and the AG's office is sending another $2 million.
They said the action is a direct appeal to lawmakers on Capitol Hill to end the shutdown now.
Inside the Second Harvest Food Bank on Monday, McCrory announced immediate action to help local families so they do not go hungry as a result of the government shutdown.
McCrory announced that $750,000 will be allocated this week to get needed supplies to each of seven food banks in the state, including Second Harvest.
"It's a short-term solution to a long-term need, but we felt as though we needed to take budgetary action immediately," he said.
Also on Monday, the State Department of Justice identified $2 million in consumer restitution funds that will also go to state food banks.
McCrory said the new funds being released on Monday will help the food banks and pantries handle the extra demand created, in part, from the government shutdown.
"That $750,000 that the governor is allocating immediately, we hopefully can turn into at least three million meals over the next few weeks," said Alan Briggs from Feeding America Food Banks.
Last week, the partial federal shutdown forced a two-day suspension of issuing new vouchers for the women, infants and children or WIC food and nutrition program.
The goal now is to make sure they have enough food to take them through the holidays and the colder season, but the governor said this is not a permanent solution.
"These are just Band-Aids to a serious problem if this shutdown continues," said McCrory.
In 2012, the North Carolina Association of Feeding America food banks and distributed almost 127 million pounds of nutritious food to North Carolinians in need.
Approximately 170,000 people in North Carolina receive emergency food assistance any given week.
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