Shutdown Takes Toll on Charlotte - myfoxcarolinas.com

Shutdown Takes Toll on Charlotte

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Talks continue in Washington to end the partial government shutdown. This is the third week “non-essential” government workers are on furlough without an end in sight.

Those federal employees are not the only ones feeling the consequences. Young children in Charlotte are also being affected.

Trinity Diggs is a 5th grader at Long Creek Elementary School in Huntersville. Her week-long STARBASE field trip was pushed back pending federal funding.

“She was really upset because science just so happens to be her favorite subject," said Trinity's mother, Tawanda Diggs.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense program for elementary students focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math. Students in Charlotte visit the North Carolina Air National Guard base near the Charlotte Douglas Airport for hands on experience.

“[Trinity] has been watching the news with me," Diggs said. "She knows what’s going on. It was just a shock for her to see the government shutdown is affecting her and her field trip.”

Other programs have also felt the effect of the shutdown in the Charlotte area. A much more essential program was suspended for three days but is now getting funding through the state. WIC, a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children is back in business for now. The program gives participants vouchers for milk, cheese, formula, peanut butter, beans, things that are important to a nutritional system.

Vouchers were suspended due to the government partial shutdown. North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services says it has secured additional funds to support the program until the end of the month. There is no word on what will happen if the shutdown continues past October 31, 2013.

“Amidst all the chaos between housing, schooling, and all the programs leaving us, at least if we can feed our children, we feel like we’re good moms,” said Rodgers.

During September, the program provided supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education for almost 264,000 women, infants and young children in North Carolina. WIC also impacts more than 2,000 local grocery stores and other food businesses around the state.

It’s not only those with a low income feeling the insecurity of the government partial shutdown. Everyone filing an extended federal tax return will have to wait until the government is up and running to get a refund.

The IRS says taxpayers still have to file by October 15, 2013 – the deadline for the tax return extension. The agency urges taxpayers to file electronically because most of the returns will be processed automatically.

Our veterans could also see compensation payments come to a halt if the shutdown extends into November. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website if the shutdown continues through October they could fall behind in processing claims and other benefits may be suspended due to "lack of funding." That means an estimated 5,600 veterans a day could potentially miss out on benefits.


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