Lawmakers say they will get the government up and running again, and Mary Brooks said it is about time. The volunteer for The Banquet in Sioux Falls wants leaders in Washington to know she has been busier than ever.
Brooks: I think they've lost the total picture of what's going on in the country.
Brady Mallory: And you see it every day?
Brooks: Yeah, every day. Every day.
Brooks said it has not been a pretty picture. The number of meals served to children has gone up 31 percent compared to last month. The hike is because families do not have the support of some federal food programs.
"Well, they have to supplement that benefit they weren't receiving, so they're turning to the Banquet and places like the Banquet more than they normally would," Executive Director Tamera Jerke-Liesinger said.
The agreement to end the shutdown was announced on the Senate floor by the leadership of both parties on Wednesday. House Speaker John Boehner said the House will not block the deal, which would reopen the government through January 15 and increase the debt limit through February 7.
Right now, volunteers are not sure if it is enough to restore faith in elected officials in the nation.
"This is ridiculous that they're doing this in their conflict between them, and it's affecting so many people. And they're getting their big checks and these people are getting nothing. It's not right. It's just not right," Brooks said.
Lawmakers say they may soon have a shutdown deal, but for the sake of many families, Brooks hopes this time, the political promise is the real deal.
"We've heard this before, 'There might be a compromise.' It's just like, 'OK, I'll believe it when I see it,'" Brooks said.