There’s no end in sight yet for the partial federal government shutdown and Friday, January 11, 2019 many federal employees will miss their first paychecks. Many of them live paycheck-to-paycheck and are already seeking out assistance. Feeding the Gulf Coast, based in Mobile County provides food services for 24 counties and is preparing for many more mouths to feed.
“I’ve actually gotten two calls so far from people who are worried about not being able to make it because the checks aren’t coming in,” said Robert Sanderson.
Sanderson is a food pantry volunteer with City Church of Mobile, just one of 400 agencies served by Feeding the Gulf Coast. With the government shutdown now entering its fourth week, families who haven’t needed to ask for help before are looking for ways to make ends meet. Feeding the Gulf Coast has taken notice and is getting ready.
“We estimate that there are tens of thousands of government employees in our 24 county service area so we are exploring opportunities and anticipating an increased need to fill the gap that will be created by the furloughs and the lack of paychecks for those employees,” explained Cyndy Baggett with Feeding the Gulf Coast.
The pantry service provides food to agencies from the Louisiana – Mississippi line, east through the Florida panhandle. While there’s no way to know just how much more food will be needed, Feeding the Gulf Coast staff said they’ll be prepared and that any help from the public will go a long way.
“We would encourage them to visit our website and learn about hosting a food drive or making a donation that could actually be earmarked to the government shutdown, so they could also call and we could take volunteers up here,” Baggett said.
Volunteers to help sort and distribute food to families uncertain of their future. If your business, church of civic group wants to host a food drive, you’re asked to contact Feeding the Gulf Coast first to find out where the greatest need lies. If you or your family is in need of assistance, feeding the Gulf Coast can also put you in touch with an agency near you.
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