Central Texas Food Bank helps furloughed federal workers

The Central Texas Food Bank is looking to help furloughed federal workers this Wednesday. (CBS Austin)

The Central Texas Food Bank is looking to help furloughed federal workers this Wednesday.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the food bank at 6500 Metropolis Drive is offering a box of food and hygiene products for any federal worker in need to assistance.

“This is really unprecedented for us,” said Mark Jackson of the Central Texas Food Bank.

He said they’re able to feed 46,000 people every week. Among the 21 counties the food bank serves, Jackson said there are more than 25,000 federal employees that could be impacted by the government shutdown.

“We’ve finally have heard enough ground swell of need, it’s time to act,” he said.

The food that will be given out would be similar to what’s provided to victims of a natural disasters, like peanut butter, tuna, spaghetti and some produce.

“A lot of times it’s ‘how do I get through the next month or two months,' so that shelf stable stuff is really fantastic,” said Jackson.

Only eight furloughed federal workers have called the food bank asking about their services since the government shutdown started back on December 22nd, but Jackson said other agencies the food bank works with have also received calls.

On Monday, the government shutdown hit a historic record as the longest ever at 24 days.

For some workers, Jackson said, it could be their first time needing the services of a food bank, causing feelings of fear or shame. “We believe in dignity and no one should go hungry,” he said.

Wednesday’s distribution will also have a resource fair for furloughed workers to get more information on ways they can access food and other programs that may help them financially.

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