Gleaners Food Bank and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan are partnering to make available free food boxes for federal workers affected by the government shutdown. Furloughed federal civilian workers will be able to show up to any one of the 11 distribution sites in southeast Michigan beginning Tuesday morning to pick up their 25-pound box of food.
As the government shutdown persists into day 20, furloughed federal workers missed their first paycheck on Friday. There are about 13,000 federal civilian workers in Oakland and Macomb counties combined, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Nearly 800,000 federal employees are currently furloughed or working without pay nationwide.
Eric Davis, vice president of basic needs, health and outreach for the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, said this partnership is call to action to help residents affected by the shutdown.
“It’s really important for us to rally and maintain a degree of stability for families that may not be used to experiencing food insecurities,” said Davis. “It’s important for both Gleaners and The United Way to acknowledge that this is something that is persistent.”
He said although food assistance resources are always available 24/7 to residents throughout the region, emergencies such as the government shutdown require both organizations to care for the community and put together special programs to help those directly impacted.
In order to receive a box of food, every federal worker must present their federally-issued employee ID card and a valid ID. The boxes will be given out until each site runs out.
The 25-pound boxes contain enough food for about 20 meals, according to Davis.
Hours will vary by location so feel free to call ahead before arriving to your nearest distribution site. You can also call The United Way for Southeastern Michigan at 2-1-1, who can help direct you to the closest location offering food support.
Those who are not federal workers, but still in need of food assistance, can call 2-1-1 to find their nearest food pantry and to set up an appointment for food pick-up.
Below is a list of distribution site with a phone number for each location.