TAMPA — The federal shutdown may be over but there is still a lot of need among federal workers, according to one local non-profit.
Feeding Tampa Bay is planning to keep open two mini grocery "markets" to provide free groceries for federal workers. They also are open to families in need, with an eye on those who rely on the federal food stamp program known as SNAP. Those families received February vouchers in January, raising concerns that they may run out of food before March.
"While we are happy to know paychecks are coming soon for some of our local federal workers, there are still many of our neighbors who will not receive back pay and 713,006 individuals who will experience a significant gap in SNAP benefits, leaving the impact in their households devastating," Thomas Mantz, the group's executive director, said in a statement. "Feeding Tampa Bay, alongside our newly merged program Trinity Cafe, will continue our mission to assist those in need, ensuring meals are not missed especially during this critical time of recovery."
The record-long shutdown that began over Christmas left an estimated 800,000 federal employees without paychecks, leading many to seek assistance at local food banks. That included Tampa Bay, where more than 2,660 workers were served at a pop-up pantry Feeding Tampa Bay set up at Tampa International Airport.
Group spokeswoman Shannon Hannon Oliviero said some workers may still not have received a paycheck. The pantry provides families with a free box of typical grocery store products including meat, bread, and fresh produce.
Contact Christopher O'Donnell at email@example.com or (813) 226-3446. Follow @codonnell_times.
Where to get help:
Feeding Tampa Bay is still operating food pantries to assist people affected by the federal government shutdown.
• Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. at Winn Dixie Charity Market at Feeding Tampa Bay, 4702 Transport Drive, Bldg 6, Tampa, FL 33605
• Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tampa International Airport, 4662 Air Cargo Road, Suite 1500, Tampa, FL 33622