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Pet and human food pantries open their doors to federal furloughed employees

Posted at 4:38 PM, Jan 08, 2019

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Because of the government shutdown, some local furloughed workers are in the unfamiliar position of having to choose between paying the rent or other necessities. Local organizations and food pantries are offering to ease the burden for them by opening their services.

"Anybody who is not receiving a paycheck due to the government shutdown is welcome to come to the pantry,” said Gabe Moe-Lobeda, Jewish Family Service Food Pantry Coordinator.

As long as the shutdown lasts, the Jewish Family Service Weinberg Food Pantry is waiving normal income requirements for government employees who are currently not being paid.

“That's exactly why we are here is for those people who have to choose between medicine or rent or food,” said Moe-Lobeda.

Employees must have a government ID or some form of documentation that proves they are a government employee to receive services.

Beyond the kitchen table, some families may also be worried about how to feed their pets.

“They may not have enough money for pet food or human food,” said Eileen Lambert, Executive Director of Colorado Pet Pantry.

The organization loaded up cars on Tuesday with pet food to distribute at other food pantries offering their supply to furloughed federal employees as well.

“I am thinking if the shutdown continues I am going to expect that more people running paycheck to paycheck are probably going to need help towards the end of this month and February,” said Lambert. “Our goal is to help people not have to relinquish their pets.”

Colorado Pet Pantry is always open to the public. An ID and a filled out registration form are required to receive services.

Food Bank of the Rockies Communications Director Janie Gianotsos said Food Bank of the Rockies is also helping people affected by the shutdown. Gianotsos said the food bank is making sure they have extra food in their mobile pantries. They are planning to extend distribution on Saturday.