Community coming together to help federal workers impacted by shutdown

Community coming together to help federal workers impacted by shutdown

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The partial federal shutdown, now on Day 33, has some agencies facing issues of their own while others are joining the effort.

Joe Diggs, an officer with the Federation of Government Employees, ferried a pickup truckload of household goods from Phoenix to Tucson late in the day.

The bed of the truck was filled with paper towels, dog good, diapers and canned goods.

Nearly all of it was donated by federal workers still on the job and still getting paid.

“They want to help their brothers and sisters through these trying times,” he said.

He will also be taking another truckload to Yuma.

“We’ll continue to do this until the shutdown ends,” he said. “Hopefully that’s soon.”

The House and Senate were scheduled to vote on two bills, but there’s little optimism either will be successful.

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is safe for now, but it is preparing for what could happen if the shutdown continues.

“This is uncharted waters for us my right now," said CFBSA community relations director Norma Cancio. “So we are carefully assessing what’s ahead and what might be ahead.”

Because it receives tons of food from the Department of Agriculture, which is closed right now, the food bank will not be able to submit orders for March.

“We have not been in a time with a shutdown this long,” she said. “We don’t know what’s ahead.”

The food bank is also taking its delivery of food assistance for government workers on the road.

It delivered 300 food boxes to the workers at federal prisons and now has plans to deliver to the airport for TSA and FAA workers. It will also include Border Patrol.

The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona has issued a plea for donations from groups, companies or individuals who would specifically target furloughed workers.

“We would be more than happy to support those organizations,” said Executive Director Tony Ford. “Even matching gifts.”

United Way has also dedicated a section of its website to assisting the workers.

“This is a horrific situation for those families,” Ford said.

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