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Where to help and get help for laid-off federal workers and contractors

Several DC area food banks and pantries are offering groceries for furloughed federal workers and contractors. They're also looking for volunteers and donors.

WASHINGTON — If you missed your paycheck today and need help, or if you got your paycheck and are looking to help others, we've got some ideas for you.

At Bread for the City, DC's largest food pantry, staffers are gearing up. Come Monday, furloughed federal workers and contractors can come here for up to five days worth of food.

"The powers-that-be don't really have an appreciation for what this is like for the little person," said Bread for the City Chief Operating Officer Jeannine Sanford.

Already working two jobs and considering a third, Justice Department intern and grad student Jacob Kennedy is among those who may turn to Bread for the City for help. "I'm okay at the moment, but a couple more weeks and I'm going to be struggling, so that is definitely something I will look into," Kennedy said. 

The Capital Area Food Bank is also stepping up, launching pop-up markets at five Giant stores across the region from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Dozens of volunteers turned up to back bags of fresh produce and canned goods for laid off workers.

Among the volunteers was Althea Boss, who is furloughed from the Department of Homeland Security. "It feels good to give back even more to the country I love and the people I love too," Boss said.

Pamela Leftrict, a laid off policy analyst at the EPA is giving and receiving. "I feel like a kid caught in a bad custody battle," she said. 

Leftrict is packing bags for others while also getting food for her family. "It helps because I can focus my money on other bills," she explained.

Uncle Sam may be stingy, but this community is generous. Capital Area Food Bank CEO Radha Muthiah said they keep up the effort, "for as long as it takes until [furloughed workers] get their next paycheck."

The pop-up markets will be set up at the following locations: 

  • Brentwood store (DC), 1050 Brentwood Road Brentwood, Washington, DC
  • Richmond Highway (VA), 6800 Richmond Hwy, Alexandria, VA
  • Campus Way South (MD), 10480 Campus Way South, Largo, MD
  • Allentown Rd (MD), 7074 Allentown Rd, Camp Springs, MD
  • Rockville Pike (MD), 12051 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD

The Food Bank and Bread for the City are also looking for more volunteers and more donations.