Furloughed government workers get food bank help in Brooklyn

Kemberly Richardson Image
Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Furloughed government workers get food bank help in Brooklyn
Kemberly Richardson reports on food bank help for furloughed workers.

BROOKLYN, New York City (WABC) -- There is an outpouring of support for federal workers around the New York area who aren't getting paid due to the government shutdown.

Connecicut announced financial assistance, while Rutgers University will temporarily stop charging tuition for students whose family members are furloughed.

And in Brooklyn Tuesday, the Nets and the Barclays Center teamed upw with the Food Bank for New York City to pass out food.

"It's humbling," furloughed worker Antoinette Peek-Williams said. "But at the same time, you have to do what you have to do."

Folks from the Food Bank for New York City handed out bags of fruit, vegetables, meat and other basic items to help them get by.

"It's a little embarrassing," Peek-Williams said. "You're working and you have to come to a food bank. But at the same token, I'm not ashamed. It's the people in Washington DC are the ones who should be ashamed."

Chante Johnson lives in the Bronx and has worked for the IRS for more than 20 years.

"People have forgotten about us," Johnson said. "This right here gives us hope. Nobody didn't really forget about us."

For Troy, this event came at the right time.

"I need food," he said. "I don't have much. I don't have any money."

The 38-year-old was hurt on the job months ago and was already waiting for a check from a federal agency.

"The shutdown happened before I got compensation, so I went from that non-pay situation to this non-paying situation," he said.

Peek-Williams never thought she'd have to make decisions like this.

"Absolutely not," she said. "Been working for 32 years and been involved with shutdown before. But this is the worst."

As for Johnson, she's trying to remain optimistic, grateful for all of the help.

"I don't think of it as a food bank or handout," she said. "No, helping hands."

RELATED: Have you been impacted by the government shutdown? Share your story here!


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