Food Bank Seeks Donations for Furloughed Government Workers

Susanna Bryan | South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Furloughed and unpaid federal government workers are finding themselves worrying about yet another basic need: food.

At least one local food bank has stepped up to help those affected by the shutdown.

“We’ve contacted TSA and let them know we are able to provide food,” said Sari Vatske, executive vice president of Feeding South Florida. “We are working with the Coast Guard now as well.”

With no end to the shutdown in sight, the charity is counting on being there for the long haul.

“As long as folks are in need of assistance we will provide it,” Vatske said. “If this continues we and the private sector are going to have to work together to help these families.”

The organization hopes to provide food for 1,500 furloughed employees at Miami International Airport, 900 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and 200 at Palm Beach International Airport. Workers at Port Everglades and the Port of Miami will also receive food, Vatske said.

People can help in three ways: By donating food, money or volunteering to sort food at the nonprofit’s main warehouse in Pembroke Park.

“We want to provide three to five days worth of meals,” she said. “Our goal is to serve them all. We need baby food, diapers, canned goods, peanut butter, rice, beans, pasta.”

People can drop off items Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the main warehouse in Pembroke Park at 2501 SW 32nd Terrace.

Cash donations can be made online at

To volunteer, go to the website and register.

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