*To maintain confidentiality photo is of a Feeding America client - not from story.
"I have worked in a government position for the past 13 years. My two boys, are ages 10 and 18. There are at least 600 people from my building alone that are off work currently, not including contractors who come in and out of the building for special projects, maintenance, cleaning, etc."
When asked how she learned about Gleaners, she said “Oh I know all about Gleaners! My kids’ school does a food drive for Gleaners every year, and I give money 3-4 times a year. I know the good work done here, but never thought I would need it myself.”
She said that employees have been given no information on assistance that might be available to them and are trying to work through things on their own. I mentioned assistance with utilities and she said “I didn’t even think about that. I bet I could get on a monthly plan.”
We asked if there was anything she would want people to know about her situation or the shutdown in general. She said:
“By the grace of God, I had a little bit of a cushion. I’ve always been good at a budget and tried to put some away over the years. I’m going into my 3rd missed check now and it is scary to watch my savings dwindle. I’m a lucky one, though. I know people who are living paycheck to paycheck. The timing of this couldn’t have been worse. Right before Christmas – everyone had already bought presents and assumed this would either be short or not happen at all.”
We asked if there was anything she would like to say to Gleaners employees, and she said “Please tell everyone thank you. I was so scared to come here today because I didn’t know what to expect. People couldn’t have been nicer. I’m shocked that I could have as much milk as I needed, and with 2 boys, I go through a lot of milk. It says a lot that when I called my Congressman’s office asking for help, the first place they said was ‘Go to Gleaners. They will help you.’”