On Saturday, the government shutdown became the longest-ever in US history. That same day, hundreds of federal employees lined up at pop-up food banks from the Capital Area Food Bank, according to NPR.
Although Congress approved of a plan to provide back pay for workers affected by the shutdown, many who did not receive paychecks this past week lined up for the food banks in order to provide for their families.
“They’re just worried about where to get their food. We’ve had someone say I’ll pay you back after I get my paycheck, but I just need [food] now.” -Radha Muthiah, CEO of Capital Area Food Bank
Interviewed by NPR, numerous workers in line expressed their concerns about the shutdown and their frustration with struggling to pay for food on top of rent and medical bills. Although the food bank has pledged to continue to distribute food to workers during the shutdown, many are still worried about their ability to provide.
“Playing with people’s lives for the sake of whatever political idea you’re behind, it’s not good. They should value the worker a little more than that.” -Terrence Graham, federal employee at the State Department