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Food baskets and babies, more effects of the Federal shutdown

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Food baskets and babies, more effects of the Federal shutdown

By Craig Smith. CREATED Oct 2, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As the Federal shutdown runs on, we're learning more about how it does and does not affect local employers, hungry people, and even babies.

At the Community Food Bank the fight in Washington is leading to a serious food fight--to get the supplemental food low income seniors depend on.
Government payments power a program called Food Plus.

The Food Plus cards are good for six months or a year but if you are just unlucky enough that yours expired this month when you go to the Health department for a renewal, they'll tell you because of the Federal shutdown you can't get a new card, you have to go on a waiting list.
Juan Jose Gerardo worries the food he needs could be cut off.  Speaking through a translator he said, "He hopes that Congress would do their job and approve the budget so we can continue getting these foods."
The shutdown could affect babies. Federal dollars fund WIC, the food program for Women Infants and Children.  The Pima Health Department is giving WIC clients one month of benefits instead of the usual three, and hoping the shutdown will lift very soon.
Pima Health gave more than 26 hundred shots last season.  It says it already has enough vaccine for this year.
Employers must use the Federal E Verify site to make sure who they hire is legally in the U-S.
E-Verify is down.
Lori Prince of Focus Human Resources tells employers the government says hire now, E-Verify later.

KGUN9 reporter Craig Smith asked: "What if you've got somebody on board and you find they're going to fail the E Verify, what then?

Prince said: "Then you have to let them go unfortunately."
If you buy a gun the shutdown will not stop background checks required when you buy from a licensed dealer like Tommy Rompel of Black Weapons Arsenal.

He says, "The FBI NICS which is National Instant Criminal Background Check System performs those background checks so they're also tied into law enforcement systems."
Even though the Saguaro National Park has fences easy to climb,  you want to resist the temptation to jump the fence and enjoy an empty park.  Park Rangers are not on furlough and you could be in line for a heavy ticket.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press