St. Mary’s Food Bank feeds Sky Harbor workers impacted by shutdown
PHOENIX – St. Mary’s Food Bank set up a mobile pantry Monday to support federal airport employees in Phoenix affected by the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.
The Phoenix-based nonprofit handed out emergency food items to Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration workers outside the TSA offices near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
St. Mary’s spokesman Jerry Brown told KTAR News 92.3 FM they expected to provide supplies for 200-300 people over three hours.
“We’ve heard from the TSA folks that there’s been a lot of interest in getting this done now that they’re headed into the fourth week of this,” Brown said.
We are LIVE at a special Mobile Distribution to TSA workers affected by the shutdown. With TSA workers staying on the job without a paycheck, we hope we can provide some food for their families and eliminate one concern during a difficult time. pic.twitter.com/yzBSFZKpWX
— St. Mary's Food Bank (@StMarysFoodBank) January 14, 2019
Some Sky Harbor federal employees have been furloughed, while others continue to work without pay.
Negotiations between the White House and Congress to end the shutdown, which began Dec. 22, are at a standstill.
President Donald Trump has demanded $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall; Democrats are refusing but are offering money for fencing and other border security measures.
Last week, St. Mary’s sent 150 food boxes to Grand Canyon National Park workers impacted by the shutdown, and more deliveries up north are planned.
“That doesn’t count the government workers who have come just to our regular St. Mary’s Food Bank locations seeking some help during this time,” Brown said.
Brown said the items needed most are proteins such as peanut butter and tuna as well as canned fruits and vegetables.
St. Mary’s, which serves nine Arizona counties, accepts items at its main locations, 3131 W. Thomas Road in Phoenix or 13050 W. Elm St. in Surprise, and 500 Arizona partner locations, including many Goodwill stores.
Information about using St. Mary’s services or how to donate cash or supplies can be obtained online or by calling 602-242-FOOD.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jeremy Foster and Taylor Kinnerup and The Associated Press contributed to this report.