WASHINGTON — Doris Cochran, a disabled mother of two young boys, is stockpiling canned foods these days, filling her shelves with noodle soup, green beans, peaches and pears — anything that can last for months or even years. Her pantry looks as though she’s preparing for a winter storm. But she’s just trying to make sure her family won’t go hungry if her food stamps run out. For those like Cochran who rely on federal aid programs, the social safety net no longer feels so safe. As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history stretches into a fifth week, millions of poor Americans who depend on food and rental assistance are becoming increasingly worried about the future. Most major aid programs haven’t dried up yet. But each day the stalemate in Washington drags on, the U.S. inches closer to what advocates call a looming emergency. Those dependent on the aid are watching closely under a cloud of stress and anxiety. “I just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Cochran said, “and that’s what scares me the most.” With no indication of an imminent compromise, the Trump administration in recent weeks has scrambled to restore some services across the government. But… Read full this story
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