State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

The State House Sound Bites Podcast is now called State of the State and is a part of PA Post, a digital-first, citizen-focused news organization to hold Pennsylvania’s government accountable to its citizens.

Central PA Food Bank feeding hundreds of furloughed feds

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Jan 18, 2019 6:49 PM

Some Pennsylvanians who work for the federal government are turning to food banks for support. (Photo by AP)


(Harrisburg) -- Hundreds of furloughed federal workers are turning to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank to help make ends meet as the partial federal government shutdown drags on.

From 4 to 6:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, every week until the shutdown ends, the food bank is turning its two primary hubs in Harrisburg and Williamsport into central locations for shutdown-affected people to come--work badge in hand--to receive packages of food.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Sands says in the three days the program has been in effect, they've handed out food to around 400 people.

They're expecting even more in the coming weeks as people go even longer without a paycheck.

"We had one gentlemen who, you know he didn't know if he was going to be able to pay for gas next week because he commutes about an hour, I think, to a federal prison job," Sands said. "He just didn't know how he was going to get there."

Sands added that for a lot of these people, even going to the food bank is painful.

"You know, they just didn't want to come," she said. "They certainly didn't want to talk about their experiences. And I think some of them were a little bit--I don't want to say embarrassed, but maybe that is the word to use."

Along with the assistance for federal workers, the food bank is also continuing to distribute food to its partner groups.

Workers and volunteers have been taking on extra hours as a way to help with the effort.

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

back to top