LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Because of its large numbers of senior citizens, veterans and others who rely on federally funded programs, Maine would've been one of the hardest hit states by if the shutdown dragged on.
In Lewiston today people who run agencies that help the poor and the elderly took a neighborhood tour, visiting some of the federally funded programs that have already been impacted by the government shutdown. They include the LIHEAP fuel assistance program and Head Start, which provides education and nutritional services for children of low income families.
"We are providing nutritious lunches and snacks to children every day with no guarantee of being reimbursed for those meals", said Sharon Philbrook Bergeron of Androscoggin Head Start.
With temperatures dropping, a lot of people in this area will rely on some amount of fuel assistance. Not only is it unclear how much will be available some people have not even been able to submit an application.
"If you're applying for fuel assistance you need proof of Social Security. Clients go to the Social Security office, it's closed. They're coming back and really worried because its getting cold", said Mike Burke of Community Concepts.
A federal default would have an even bigger impact on Maine than the government shutdown. Without the debt ceiling being raised programs such as medicaid, social security and benefits for veterans would start feeling the pinch.