Shutdown felt in San Diego

SAN DIEGO –The federal government shutdown is being felt by San Diegans, from scientific researchers to military families.

The Hand Up Youth Food Pantry says it’s seeing more people come to get food and other needed items.  They’re seeing more military families step in line asking for help.

San Diego Hotel SkylineTypically it’s homeless and low income senior citizens.  Last week we saw people in uniform.  I spoke to a reservist who said she hadn’t seen a paycheck in two weeks,” said Shana Hazan who works with the food pantry.

The Hand Up Youth Pantry which is part of the Jewish Family Service aids about 9,000 people in the county every year and distributes more than 300,000 pounds of food.

“We’re able to help everyone in need,” said Hazan.

Meanwhile the Cabrillo Centennial Celebration was canceled over the weekend as a result of the shutdown.  On Monday, the park did open and allow people to visit.  But the festivities for the weekend are now postponed until March.

For Matt Siegfried, a graduate student at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, his life is on hold now too.  He, along with other students, was scheduled to go to Antarctica to study the melting glaciers.  The government funds contractors who pay for the trip, but since the shutdown no one is getting funding.

“It’s frustrating,” said Siegfried.  “I can’t plan the next month of my life.”

He was supposed to go on his research trip at the end of November.  Even if the government shutdown ends soon, he’s still concerned his trip could be delayed or worse, never happen.

“We don’t know what will happen.”