NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — While the government shutdown was looming, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore braced for a long line of newcomers.

“The government shutdown increases our line for sure, and we know that line is already longer than it’s been for three years,” CEO Christopher Tan said.

The government shutdown could’ve happened at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 1. However, a 45-day funding plan passed by the House and later the Senate prevented that. The bill must now get signed by President Joe Biden, Tan told 10 On Your Side that the foodbank, and their 200 partners, have been preparing.

“If the government shuts down tomorrow, the need doesn’t happen immediately,” Tan said. “But it certainly will happen in the next week or two. So, we’re preparing by looking at our inventory, looking at what foods we could get you quickly and whether or not we would have to stand up some distributions that we maybe normally wouldn’t have to help meet those needs.”

However, Tan said the 45-day funding plan would impact them even more.

“That 45 days will be in the middle of our holiday season which is the largest time of the year for the foodbank,” Tan said. “It would create an even greater challenge for us because we’re already doing so much more.”

He described the list of new faces he expects walking through their doors, saying his team is ready to help.

“Particularly if it’s the military, or civilians that are helping the military, they’re used to being the heroes in this story, and we would love to be the heroes for them for sure,” Tan said.

He said he advises anyone who might need food to go to and click “find help.”

Anyone who wants to help can go to that same website and click “give help.”

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