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      High Plains Food Bank: We can't afford to stop

      A fter day 15 of the government shutdown, one nonprofit organization in Amarillo that benefits from a government emergency food assistance program said it can't afford to stop its services.

      "W e have something that drops off completely or due to a shutdown, benefits not being received, that's really hard for one entity such as the food bank and all partner agencies to suddenly pick up from that drop off so suddenly ," Executive Director Zack Wilson said.

      T he High Plains Food Bank receives nearly 20 percent of its canned vegetables from a USDA government program that is administered throughout the state. The organization says it has to think long-term, and if the shutdown continues into the 2014, it would have to reach out to other organizations for donations to help replenish its shelves. Wilson said right now, the organization has enough canned vegetables to get them through February.

      "W e have to keep going. " he said. "T he government may shut down , but the High Plains Food Bank doesn't, and that's because food insecurity outside these doors is still there and that's going to happen. Businesses are open or shut, government open or shut, the way I see it, we have a job to do, we need to do it."

      The organization said it is still helping people apply for food stamp programs and it will carry out all future events, including its annual turkey trot.