Food banks like Philabundance, pictured, are offering special programs to help workers hit by the shutdown. (Courtesy of Philabundance)
Food banks like Philabundance, pictured, are offering special programs to help workers hit by the shutdown. (Courtesy of Philabundance)

With the partial U.S. government shutdown going into its 33rd day, Philadelphia food organizations are coming to the aid of local federal workers who haven't been paid since late December 2018.

In addition to a weekly free food market launched to help provide groceries, the nonprofit Philabundance is joining the effort to help some 45,000 local government workers affected by the shutdown. Beginning Wednesday, January 23, Philabundance is teaming up with Share Food Program, Inc. and Nutritional Development Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for a weekly emergency food market to help government employees.

Employees will be able to show their government IDs and attend the free food service from 10-11 a.m. at the intersection of Front and Tasker streets.

The Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger (GPCAH) is working to connect government workers affected by the shutdown with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

 

“We are working to help out in a couple of different ways,” said Alyssa Bradley, advocacy and communications associate at GPCAH. “We are helping folks sign up for SNAP benefits if they do qualify,” says Bradley.

From assisting people in finding food in their neighborhoods on their website, Bradley emphasizes the coalition’s function in leading people looking for food in the right direction. “We have a food pantry/food kitchen finder on our website where you can type in your address and it will populate results to tell you when places are open and what they require,” Bradley added.

Beginning this week, North Philadelphia’s Kitchen of Love is gearing up to help government workers on Thursdays and Fridays. “They need their [government] ID and they can pick up whatever they want. Canned goods, fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, everything.” said Kitchen of Love executive director Marlene Trice. Government workers can rely on Kitchen of Love’s assistance for as long as the shutdown continues.

Where to get food

Philabundance’s new food market is at Front and Tasker on Wednesday’s from 10-11 a.m. Visit philabundance.org for more info.

GPCAH helps connect people with SNAP benefits and also find food resources in their neighborhood. Visit hungercoalition.org for more info.

The Kitchen of Love is open on Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. and Fridays from 7-11 a.m. For more info, call (215) 868-4092.

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