Friends of the Poor Organizes Food Giveaway for Federal Workers

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SCRANTON, Pa. -- The deal to reopen the federal government, and the promise to soon receive back pay, came as a relief to many federal workers here in our area.

Friday was supposed to be payday for many of them and local agencies pitched in to provide some help.

A food distribution at St. Luke's Church in Scranton came together quickly when Friends of the Poor noticed a new need from federal workers.

"We've seen several people in our pantries in the last two weeks or so, and we just thought, there's definitely more people who don't know where we're located or what we do, so if we do a media blitz, send out our flier, hopefully, we can help out those who don't know where we are," said Meghan Loftus of Friends of the Poor.

The giveaway was open to anyone in need, not just workers affected by the government shutdown.

But extra food was purchased with those workers in mind.

"We know there's a lot of people impacted, missing one, two paychecks can really throw some people into the cycle of poverty and we want to prevent that," said Loftus.

When Kayla Lacomis' husband got a job with the Federal Aviation Administration two years ago, she says she never would have imagined she would now be sitting here.

"'Look at those benefits! Look at all that vacation!' and now here I am, no money for a month," said Lacomis.

Lacomis and hundreds of other families in our area have been without pay since late last year.

"I'm very frugal, so we had some savings, and we're managing, we're being still frugal, but we're managing," Lacomis added.

There's now a deal in Washington to reopen the government temporarily and get federal workers the backpay they've earned during the shutdown.

That's a relief for Tim O'Malley, who works at the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton but weathering the longest government shutdown in history hasn't been easy.

"You figure, if anything, it's a secure position, it's the middle class. You don't have to worry about where your next meal is going to come from. Now you do. Nothing is secure anymore," O'Malley said.

Friends of the Poor Says they'll be prepared to help out federal workers again should there be another shutdown.

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