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Federal employees line up in Phoenix for food boxes on 28th shutdown day

(KTAR News/Amy Phol)

PHOENIX — St. Mary’s Food Bank and its volunteers brought a large semi-truck full of food to the Phoenix Indian Medical Center in central Phoenix to feed federal employees.

The Friday event was in response to the continued partial federal government shutdown, which has reached its 28th day with no end in sight.

More than 140,000 tribal members receive health care services from Phoenix Indian Medical Center near 16th Street and Indian School Road.

Many are residents in greater Phoenix areas. They also serve rural and remote communities across Arizona, Nevada and Utah.

Set up in the parking lot, hundreds of federal employees stood in line on foot and by car to collect the boxes.

The facility employs more than 1,200 people and is run by the Indian Health Service.

Those going through the situation tell KTAR News 92.3 FM that they haven’t seen a paycheck since Dec. 22.

One woman, who asked to be anonymous to protect her privacy, said her peers are worried.

Exhausted and stressed out, she said her co-workers in her department are close and try to help one another out with whatever they need.

“Everybody’s been bringing stuff in and we make our little exchange,” the woman added.

Her peers also rely on other assistance.

“I know that a lot of the families here are on some sort of assistance in regards to (Women, Infants, and Children) or their food stamps,” she said.

She said that not only are families worried about their next meal, but about child care as well.

“One of our girls, she didn’t have a sitter yesterday and so we kind of took turns during our lunch period watching her little girl.”

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