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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –The sting of the government shut down is being felt by furloughed workers across the country, including the Pittsburgh area. That’s where the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank steps in.

“We know in our 11 county service area there are approximately 20-thousand federal employees who are either currently working without pay or are furloughed,” said Traci Weatherford-Brown of the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank.

The need is real, earlier this week the Greater Pittsburgh food Bank held a special distribution at it Duquesne facility, and two dozen families left with boxes filled with food.

Federal workers will get another chance to stock up on Thursday.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are lending a helping hand to those caught in the middle of the federal government partial shutdown.

The Pirates sent three Care-A Vans to various spots in Western Pennsylvania Wednesday to participate in community events leading up to PiratesFest this weekend.

One of the vans that featured players and coaches stopped at the Great Pittsburgh Community Food Bank to help pack boxes and sort food for those in need. Federal Government employees have been in the spotlight at the food bank all week because of the shutdown that has now reached day 33. The La Roche College baseball team was also on hand to assist with the efforts.

The Care-A-Vans are headed to various locations over the next three days including Erie, Weirton West Virginia and Youngstown Ohio to partake in charitable and community functions.

Pirates first baseman Josh Bell talked about what the experience meant to him.

“It’s definitely special, we had no idea coming in who exactly we were packing for, but it brings us that much closer to the families that are being affected,” he said.

The food bank is hearing heart-breaking stories from those in need.

“What we are really hearing from people is an overwhelming sense of this is not a place they ever thought they would come for help,” Weatherford-Brown said. The food bank was a charity they supported, not a place they thought they would come for help.”

The next food distribution for furloughed federal workers will be held at the convention center in downtown Pittsburgh on Jan. 30 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.