As the government closes its 27th day, government employees across the country turn to food banks to help feed their families.
Federal employees lose money $ 200 million per working dayaccording to a report published by The New York Times Wednesday. This means that the 800,000 affected workers on average missed more than $ 5,000 of salary by the time the fourth week closed.
For employees who live from one paycheck to the next, as would be many federal employees, this represents an impossible financial burden. Local news outlets, from Chicago to Tampa to San Francisco, say federal workers seek support from charities.
"We had people contact us on social media and it really started after the first paycheck was not received," said Charla Irwin-Buncher of the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. local subsidiary of CBS, KDKA. "If we can help by providing additional assistance to help further use the sums that could be in the savings account, then hopefully people will not have to pay for groceries with a credit card."
Catholic community services in northern Utah are worried that stocks will begin to decline if the closure period lasts much longer. "We may have to reduce the amount of food baskets if it continues, but our doors will remain open," CNN program coordinator and case manager Deborah Nielsen told CNN on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank in California is expected to help hundreds of US Coast Guard workers and their families, KQED reported. In addition to doing grocery shopping, the organization plans to enroll them in the Calfresh Food Stamp Program.
In the meantime, the San Francisco Human Services agency announced Tuesday that February's Calfresh benefits would come early to help workers affected by the closure.
In the capital, workers have been using food banks since at least last Saturday, when the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) offered its first weekly distribution to federal workers. According to its website, the charity wants to keep them until the end of the closure.
"I need more help now," Pamela Leftrict, a policy analyst at EPA, told CFAB on Friday. "It's a scary time for me, especially because I have a child at home."
Although she was involved in preparing the grocery store for distribution, the federal employee announced that she was going to get some products for herself the next day. "Volunteering makes me feel like contributing, like giving something back for what I get."
In scenes that are repeated across the country, some 2,200 federal officials waited Saturday morning in the cold to collect food from ephemeral banks created by the charity.
Federal workers line up for a free hot meal in Andres, Washington, DC, January 16, 2019, as the restaurant reached out to locals to provide ready-to-eat meals to federal families affected by the government shutdown American. Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images