Oklahoma Nonprofits Distributing Food At State Fair Park For Furloughed Federal Workers
The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma will be at the State Fair Park in Northwest Oklahoma City on Monday, January 21, with enough food to feed thousands of federal employees.
“It’s scary not knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow,” said Ileta Young, furloughed FAA employee. “Or even the end of the day.”
Young has been off work for nearly a month, she’s going on four weeks without pay.
“It’s really, really scary,” said Young. “To be in a position that you shouldn’t have to be in.”
Young volunteered at the Regional Food Bank before the government shutdown. She never thought she would be packing food for herself and fellow furloughed workers.
“That was the last thing on my mind when I came and started giving,” said Young.
The food bank is teaming up with the United Way of Central Oklahoma to help those impacted by the longest government shutdown in history.
The food bank will fill five semitrucks with a variety of foods including canned veggies, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, meat and fresh produce.
“Our business every day is to be thinking about people who may be having trouble putting food on their table,” said Katie Fitzgerald, CEO Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
She said many federal workers live paycheck to paycheck. When that money is not coming in that puts families in crisis.
“I’m just one of 800,000,” said Young. “And not to mention those that have to go to work and not getting a check.”
Without knowing if there is an end in sight, she encourages other employees to get the help they need on Monday.
“There’s a time you just have to swallow your pride and say hey you need to help, come get it,” said Young. “Nobody is going to look at you funny. Come get help.”
Federal and contract workers with their IDs can pick up food on Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oklahoma Expo Hall.