Employees at the Second Harvest Food Bank saw some new faces in their produce express line on Tuesday. Those new faces belonging to either federal employees or their families who are affected by the government shutdown.
“I feel so happy that we can help them, I’ve talked to a lot of federal workers today who are so appreciative of this,” said Cindy Plymyer. Plymyer was one of the food bank employees that stood out in the cold and helped people through the distribution line.
She says around 16 to 20 federal employees or someone from their families received produce. “For some of them, it’s the first time they have had to ask for help and they just are so happy and they have a lot of things that they are going to be worrying about in the next couple of months,” Plymyer added
Since this partial shutdown began on December 22nd, federal employees have missed out on at least one paycheck and are on a verge of missing out a second check. “Those workers really have to make some difficult decisions such as what bills are you going to pay and typically the last thing that you have resources for is food, we don’t want people to go hungry,” said Karen Seggi, Executive Director of Second Harvest.
Seggi says if the shutdown continues, they will look at long-term solutions that could help the federal employees. “We want those workers who are furloughed or working without pay to know that they can come to the Second Harvest Food Bank, we are here to help,” she added.
We tried talking to those federal employees or their families but they declined to comment. This is the longest government shutdown in American history and it will continue until President Trump and Democrats reach a solution regarding border wall funding.