PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Several local organizations filled the American Federation of Teachers building on the South Side to help both federal workers that have been furloughed, or workers that are simply working without pay during the partial government shutdown.
Organizations like the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and more were there to lend assistance.
“I can’t imagine going without pay. I’ve been laid off before. I was able to collect unemployment. A lot of these workers are working and unable to collect unemployment,” said Jim Blatnick with the United Way of Southwest Pennsylvania.
The United Way is offering federal workers resources such as basic needs funds that can help them pay their utilities.
A truck with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank dropped off 400 boxes filled with food so any federal employee that’s been furloughed can take one home to help relieve the burden.
“Our boxes include core grocery items for people in need. Cereal, juice, canned fruits, canned vegetables, tuna fish,” said President and CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank Lisa Scales.
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The food bank is also mobilizing food pantries throughout the community so workers can grab food when they need it.
What about benefits?
“Those folks are not entitled under Pennsylvania state law and federal guidance, so those folks are the ones who need assistance the most because they’re going to work and not getting paid,” said Bill Trusky with the Department of Labor and Industry.
Friday’s resource event took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.