Shutdown fallout: Help available for federal employees

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) No one would want to choose between paying your power bill or putting food on the table, especially in the dead of winter. But facing life without a paycheck, some are already worried about that possibility and already are reaching out for help.

Some have called NV Energy.

"We understand that could be a very stressful time for them so what we're doing is we're working with them," says Suzanne Stadler, who manages the utility's contact center. "They can just give us a call. We'll note their account. We'll stop late fees from happening and credit hits. We'll work with them as we need to."

And, when the shutdown ends, NV Energy will work with customers to get those bills paid.

Meanwhile the Food Bank of Northern Nevada expects an increased need as the shutdown continues. Helping close the food budget gap is something they do all the time.

"A lot of people are having trouble making ends meet already," says spokeswoman Jocelyn Lantrip. "Something like this just puts another wrinkle in the budget for a lot of families."

There's additional concern about the impact on government-supported food programs, especially if the shutdown continues.

"A couple of months down the road if federal nutrition programs aren't funded. It's very difficult for us to make up what a program like SNAP will fund," says Lantrip. "Commodity programs for seniors, the programs that feed kids after school, all of those programs that help feed families, that help families make ends meet. They're important/"

If you need help contact the Food Bank at
and NV Energy at (775) 834-4444.