Social services agency lays off 11 after federal shutdown
A social services agency in Kent County has laid off 11 staff members and is closing its food pantry in response to the federal government shutdown.
Area Community Services Employment & Training Council said that the government shutdown will also prevent it from providing weatherization, emergency and migrant emergency services.
ACSET administers Community Services Block Grant funds, which are appropriated by the federal government, for the citizens of Kent County through its Community Action Agency.
“At this time, we are able to provide only the most-essential services to our customers: meals and commodity food distribution for seniors and health benefit enrollment assistance,” said Susan Cervantes, associate director of the agency’s Community Action Programs. “Without the CSBG funds, we can only continue to provide these bare-minimum services for another two to four weeks.”
Federal CSBG funds support projects that address the needs of low-income individuals, including the homeless, migrants and the elderly.
Annually, ACSET helps more than 5,000 individuals meet basic needs by providing direct services, such as food assistance, housing and utility assistance, as well as senior services, such as home-delivered meals, information, referrals and transportation.