‘I wouldn’t be able to feed my kids without it’: Shutdown, uncertainty continues

Local

Thursday, the Senate will vote on two bills that would reopen the government, though both bills are expected to fail.

One month into the partial federal government shutdown, uncertainty looms for those enrolled in the SNAP program. SNAP recipients received an advance on their February allotment of food stamps in case the government was unable to reopen. 

“I wouldn’t be able to feed my children,” Lance Gormley of Newton said.

Gormley formerly worked as a welder in Harvey County. He was even a black belt in taekwondo. But a workout at the YMCA changed everything.

Gormley started to feel what he thought was heat exhaustion. After being transported to Wichita and Kansas City, surgeons removed a mass from Gormley’s brain. 

“It has changed my life entirely, where I was able to do things that I was in the past, I’m not anymore,” Gormley said.

The surgery resulted in loss of income, job and former abilities. But Gormley is a provider for his two children.

“I never thought I would be in a situation where I would need any kind of assistance from anybody,” Gormley said.

He even admits to looking down on those living off of government assistance in the past. Now, the roles are reversed as he finds himself in a unique situation.

Gormley lives on less than $500 a month and student loans to provide for his family.

“For crying out loud, I paid into the system my entire life for this situation. And now it’s looking like it won’t even be there to help me,” Gormley said.

Gormley is studying politics at Wichita State during his time away from employment. He hopes to one day be able to put his experience to use and make a difference for others through representing.

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