Community Issues

Impact of Shutdown Lingers; Food Bank Still Needs Help

Just because the government shutdown is over (and we hope it stays that way), that doesn't mean families of federal employees aren't still facing hardships.

Just because the government shutdown is over (and we hope it stays that way), that doesn't mean families of federal employees aren't still facing hardships. It's why the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is reminding everyone they still need donations of food and money to keep up with the demand from workers who are getting back on their feet after a month without a paycheck.

The Food Bank's GoFundMe page "Feed Our Feds" is still active and has already collected nearly $20,000. That's a far cry from their goal of $100,000, which is what the Food Bank calculated they would need to help the more than 18,000 federal workers in their 11 county region who didn't receive paychecks during the shutdown.

If there's a second shut down, Food Bank communications and public relations manager Beth Snyder says it could be worse, because it would affect a lot more people beyond federal workers. "From what I hear, there is not a provision for folks on SNAP to get a payment for March unless the government is reopened by the beginning of the month," reported Snyder. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), also known as the Food Stamp Program, supports millions of low-income individuals and families who can't afford to shop for the food they need. Eligible SNAP recipients received two payments in January to cover February when the government was closed.

In addition to keeping the GoFundMe page active, the Food Bank has continued to hold extra distribution centers near federal work places , like the airport. Click here to see where they are located. These are in addition to existing neighborhood food pantries, and 17 "Produce for People" centers, something we've highlighted in the past , throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania, which serve approximately 8,000 homes with healthier food options all year long.

If you can donate to help those impacted by the shutdown, go to the Food Bank's GoFundMe pag e.

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(Credit images to the Food Bank's Facebook page)

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