Government Shutdown Stops Meal Money
Posted: October 3, 2013 at 1:09 a.m.
Local children dependent on federally paid-for food programs won’t go hungry because money stopped. The federal government’s shutdown is forcing agencies to find alternative ways to pay for the meals.
At A Glance
Other Local Impact
The federal government’s Oct. 1 shutdown reaches into several areas of Northwest Arkansas.
• The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are 2,300 federal employees in Northwest Arkansas. Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, said she didn't know how many were on furlough. About 800,000 federal employees across the country were on furlough Tuesday.
• The Small Business Administration’s Fayetteville office is closed, but the Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas remains open. Larry Brain, director, said the center will not need new money until Jan. 1.
• Many U.S. Department of Agricultural services are closed, but essential services such as milk inspections will continue. The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Office in Springdale was open Wednesday, but the person answering the phone referred questions to the USDA’s Congressional and Public Affairs Office in Washington. A message for the Washington number said employees are on furlough and wouldn't return calls until after government funding is restored.
• The U.S. District Court offices in El Dorado, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Hot Springs and Texarkana are open for regular business. On or about Oct. 15 the court will reassess the situation and will remain open to support essential functions for constitutionally mandated court activities.
• Jim Rankin, vice provost of research and economic development at the University of Arkansas, said the longer the government is shut down, the more projects will be impacted. He said projects run on different funding schedules. Even if a project loses money, Rankin said the researcher is still employed by the university and can work on something else. The university will have to wait to receive between $8 million and $10 million it was awarded in new money, he said.
Source: Staff Report
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