Tags: shutdown | federalworkers | food

Federal Workers Offered Free Food to Help Them Through Shutdown

a person picks up food items at a food bank
(Press Association via AP)

By    |   Sunday, 13 January 2019 08:36 PM

The Capital Area Food Bank has organized five free pop-up markets in the Washington D.C. area to provide fresh produce and canned goods to help government employees during the partial federal shutdown, WUSA9 reported.

All furloughed government employees and federal contractor are eligible to receive the items. 

Nationwide some 800,000 federal employees, with almost a third of them in the D.C. area, have not received a paycheck in what is now the longest federal shutdown in history.

"They're just worried about where to get their food," Capital Area Food Bank President and CEO Radha Muthiah told NPR. "We've had someone say 'I'll pay you back after I get my paycheck, but I just need [food] now.'"

Muthiah said many of those in line have never had to ask for that kind of help before.

"It's hard for a lot of people," Muthiah said. "It's a matter of pride, being able to have taken care of themselves and their families and now having to depend on others."

People lining up at the food bank are mostly living near or below the poverty line, and the items are helping them free up funds to pay for other expenses such as utilities, rent and baby formula while they are not receiving their salaries.

Many said the assistance should not be a long-term solution.

"Playing with people's lives for the sake of whatever political idea you're behind, it's not good," said Terrence Graham, who works in IT at the State Department. "They should value the worker a little more than that."

The food bank says it will continue to distribute food to federal employees until the government reopens.

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The Capital Area Food Bank has organized five free pop-up markets in the Washington D.C. area to provide fresh produce and canned goods to help government employees during the partial federal shutdown, WUSA9 reported.
shutdown, federalworkers, food
274
2019-36-13
Sunday, 13 January 2019 08:36 PM
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