Local organizations lend a hand to federal employees in need of food and services

OKLAHOMA CITY - Inching closer to a full month of the government shutdown, government employees right here in Oklahoma are left in limbo, but there are some organizations looking to lend a hand.

“At this point, I’m getting more worried,” said Kathy Albright.

Albright is a government employee who hasn't been at work since the shutdown began. With bills stacking up, she, like many other federal employees, doesn’t know where to turn.

“It makes it a little tough when you’re used to being the ones that help and now you need help. But who do you go to? How do you ask?” said LeAnn Jenkins, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Federal Executive Board.

“I’m not too proud. I will ask for help because I want to survive,” Albright said.

Which is why organizations like United Way and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma are stepping up to lend a hand, offering food and services to those in need.

“We are bringing a lot of food. We have about four trucks full of food that we’ll be bringing,” said Katie Fitzgerald, CEO of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.

The organizations are putting together a mobile food distribution for federal employees who are having to stretch between paying the bills and feeding their families, all without a paycheck.

“United Way will have numerous partner agencies that will be able to provide services such as utility assistance, assistance for child care,” said Debby Hampton, president and CEO of United Way of Central Oklahoma.

Services Albright is grateful for, but still hoping and praying that each day will be the last day of the shutdown.

“I want to go back to work. I was ready to go back to work last week. I just want to work. I want to get my paycheck,” Albright said.

The mobile food distribution for federal employees will be set up on Monday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oklahoma Expo Hall at the State Fair Park.

Visitors should use ‘89er Drive off Northwest 10th Street to park and walk in. Workers will need to present a valid federal ID or proof of federal employment/contractor status to take part in the event.

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