Local Food Pantries Helping Federal Workers Impacted by Government Shutdown

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With thousands of federal workers about to miss a second paycheck, more are turning to local food pantries for help.

“Of course, it impacts your rent, getting gas for your car,” explains Sue Bruce, with Loaves & Fishes.

Bruce says TSA employees are among those looking for help.

“They had gotten the word that we were here and could provide them with a week’s worth of groceries. And we fed about five or six just last Thursday and Friday,” Bruce says.

The non-profit gives out groceries at more than 30 pantries across Mecklenburg County.

“We’re bracing for an increase, and we’ve got enough to feed everybody at the moment, but what we’re really worried about is if this continues,” Bruce says.

Second Harvest Food Bank is also helping. It will begin holding drive-thru food pantries on Saturday.

People with a Federal ID or SNAP recipients can go to the food bank on Spratt Street on Saturdays between 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

“These are real issues, with real consequences, for real people,” explains Charlotte Air Traffic Controller Anthony Schifano.

He says some co-workers now have second jobs.

“We have a couple people in Charlotte who are driving Uber when they get off their shifts. These are the same guys that are working one of the most stressful jobs in the world in one of the busiest airports in the world.”

As president of the local air traffic controllers union, he’s in Washington urging members of Congress to end the shutdown.

“Every day that continues is another day that somebody has to wonder if they’re going to be able to pay their bills, whether they’re going to have to take out a loan.”