Pantry, Other Non-profit Organizations, Rally to Help Federal Workers at Closure

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by Kellee Azar, KATU News

Kevin Ryan, head of social service programs at William Temple House, is on Thursday in the organization's larder. He says that the NPO is expecting a huge need if the federal government does not provide SNAP benefits because of the partial closure of the government. (Photo KATU)

PORTLAND, Oregon. –

Northwest of Portland, William Temple House Its mission is to help anyone in need.

His pantry is one of the solutions.

"People are confused and do not know what to expect," said Kevin Ryan, head of social service programs at William Temple House.

For now, the government guarantees coupons, or SNAP benefits, until February.

If the government does not reopen by then, however, nonprofit organizations such as William Temple House are getting ready.

"We expect a large influx of people if these benefits are not distributed to our customers," Ryan said.

At present, William Temple House can keep its shelves well stocked, but with monthly visits from those who need it.

This can change if the stop continues.

"We are extremely worried about this. We care about our customers and what they live on, and that will hit them hard, "Ryan said.

Other organizations, such as the Oregon Humane Society, are also helping by distributing pet food to employees on leave.

Matt Hall works for TSA and is currently working without pay.

"I think it's wonderful. I think that's how we go through all emergencies: we help each other, we work together, "he said.

Hall has been working for TSA for 16 years and this is not his first stop. Even though it's difficult, he says he's trying to keep a positive attitude.

"It's going to end; that too will pass, "said Hall.

But for the moment …

"We are tightening our belts. There are things we do not do that we could normally do, and then we just wait, "said Hall.

Non-profit organizations around the area are ready and willing to assist government employees affected by the closure.

Over the years, many federal employees have supported non-profit organizations as part of the combined federal campaign. Employees donated more than $ 8.3 billion to charities. Now, many employees find themselves in need and charities seek help.

Below are some examples of local and national charities that help federal employees:

Sunshine Division (CFC # 27684) is dedicated to providing accessible food and clothing assistance to Portland residents. Federal employees requiring assistance during the closure may provide a previous federal identity card or payment stub for free services from SE Stark or N Thompson shopping and clothing rooms.

Feeding America (CFC # 11627) provides a food bank to the country's food banks that make their services available to federal employees in need of food assistance during the closure period.

The Warm Heart operation (various entities of the Air Force bases in the country) provides food, clothing and other assistance to airmen and women in need. Military spouses often work for federal agencies that may be affected by the closure, resulting in a loss of income.