Food bank helping federal employees in need of meal assistance

OKLAHOMA CITY – A local food bank is helping out federal workers who haven’t been paid for nearly a month.

The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has organized a mobile food distribution for federal employees and contract workers amid the government shutdown.

“Our hardworking neighbors in the federal government should not have to worry about providing food for their families,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of the Regional Food Bank. “We stand ready to provide them relief from the anxiety and the unknown the shutdown has brought. We’re happy to have United Way, State Fair Park and the City of Oklahoma City partnering with us for this important distribution.”

The distribution is set for Monday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oklahoma Expo Hall at State Fair Park in Oklahoma City. Visitors should use ’89er Drive’ off of N.W. 10th St. to park and walk to the distribution site.

Workers will need to present a valid federal ID or proof of federal employment/contractor status to be eligible to select from a variety of foods including pasta, cereal, peanut butter, canned vegetables, meat, fresh produce and bread.

United Way of Central Oklahoma will have agencies on site to discuss additional free resources available to those impacted by the shutdown.

In addition to federal workers, seniors and families who receive food assistance from the federal government could soon find themselves in dire straits. Officials say no funding is currently available for SNAP benefits in March, and it is widely expected that SNAP recipients will run short on benefits in February due to an early distribution.

“We know there are people out there who need help, and we want them to know we’re here to provide it,” said Debby Hampton, president and CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma.  “Our partner agencies are ready and willing to help with any and all challenges stemming from the shutdown, including utility assistance or just someone to talk to about what they’re feeling.”

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