Food Bank welcomes 12 new families, each affected by gov't shutdown

Food Bank welcomes 12 new families, each affected by gov't shutdown

The Tri-Cities Food Bank on Deschutes in Kennewick is usually closed Saturdays.

But thanks to volunteers from Numerica Credit Union, Saturday, January 26th was different.

Organizers threw the doors open for government employees affected by the partial government shutdown.

RELATED STORY: Community musters support as federal employees prep for another missed payday

They say even though the shutdown is on hold federal workers haven't been paid, and with more than a month of finances to sort through, they might prioritize bill-collectors over a healthy meal.

Volunteers told Action News they tried to make clients feel especially welcome and safe, because it was a first for many of them.

Tri-Cities Food Bank board member Walt Smith says this was his first time volunteering.

He says the experience showed him how real the government shutdown is.

"It's much more humbling than even being on the board, hearing the stories," he said. "To get to experience it directly and see the impact we have, the people who are very grateful and appreciative that we help them out. But they're helping us out by working and not getting paid."

Volunteers at the Kennewick location say they helped 17 families on a day they'd usually be closed; feeding 89 people in all.

Organizers say they'll continue hosting special Saturday hours until everything gets back to normal.

They say the next one is happening Saturday, Feb. 9, though they're trying to figure out what time works best for those needing help.

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