A group that helps feed the hungry in the region says it is feeling the strain of the on-going U.S. government shutdown.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

President of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Natasha Thompson says the United States Department of Agriculture has promised it will provide funding to continue the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), WIC (Women, Infant and Children's) program and school meals through the end of February, but has not been able to provide money to help the Food Bank offset the cost of food to the community.

The Food Bank, which serves Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins Counties, says its concerned what will happen to federal nutrition programs if the shutdown continues past February and SNAP and WIC can’t be funded.

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

The Food Bank network says it is already seeing an increase in demand for food assistance from families and individuals experiencing hardship as a result of the shutdown.  More furloughed federal employees and contractors may need help as they continue to miss paychecks.