Crittenton Centers closely monitoring government shutdown

By Rose-Ann Aragon

October 8, 2013 Updated Oct 9, 2013 at 9:05 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- In Washington, some House Republicans are reportedly ready to reopen the government and raise the borrowing limit in return for meaningful negotiations on spending and the Affordable Care Act.

When a vote will happen is anyone's guess and the effects of the shutdown are taking more of a toll on the nation's non-profit organizations every day.

The Crittenton Centers in Peoria have been serving local families in need for years.

"We're like an extra family member. We're there for the family that need extra love and care," said Griselda Munoz, Crittenton Crisis Nursery Center Childcare Specialist. "It means so much to the community."

The Crittenton Crisis Nursery and Child Development Centers both offer a school lunch program. The program offers meals to children of families in need. The bulk of the program is funded by the Department of Human Services and Illinois State Board of Education. The organization feeds more than 400 children a month.

"It is important because a lot of the parents do not have the financial resources to be able to feed their kids healthy foods," said Jennifer Orban, Crittenton Centers CEO.

Crittenton aims to help families that may be going through difficult times. Whether those issues include lack of time, money or emotional stability, Crittenton has always opened their kitchens. However, officials said the longer the government shutdown lingers the stronger the chance that this service may take a large hit.

"Right now we're monitoring the shut down,” Orban said. “Right now to the month of October they are not taking the funds away, but we are continuing to monitor it because in November we're not really sure what will happen.”

As it stands, all programs at the Centers remain fully funded. However, if the shut down continues after November, there are plans to look toward private donors and the community to make up for that loss.

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