Partial Government Shutdown Ends, Need for Food along the Gulf Coast Remains

Submitted by: Feeding the Gulf Coast

As of Friday, January 25, the federal government reopened. This means the 800,000 furloughed and unpaid government workers will begin receiving paychecks. However, the continuance only guarantees normal operations until February 15. Should a compromise not be met, previously affected agencies will again shut down.

While Feeding the Gulf Coast is relieved by this news, concerns remain about the shutdown’s lingering effects. Federal workers are expected to be paid, but more than one million federally contracted employees are unlikely to receive back pay. This is a significant financial impact, as almost 10% of their yearly pay was lost during the shutdown. Feeding the Gulf Coast anticipates that both federal workers and contractors will continue to need assistance as they recover from the financial impact of the five-week shutdown.

Since the partial government shutdown, Feeding the Gulf Coast has helped provide food to more than 600 families of government workers throughout the Central Gulf Coast. Conducting four targeted distributions throughout its service area, the food bank was able to serve several affected governmental agencies. Two additional agencies have requested that distributions previously scheduled for this week proceed out of concern for impacted employees.

"It’s what we do. Helping families ensure they can put a meal together to share with their family is our part in maintaining stability during times of uncertainty, and those we serve have been eager to share their appreciation. We are here, and we will continue to be the food lifeline for our community,” says Cathy Pope, President & CEO of Feeding the Gulf Coast.

The food bank still has organizations hosting food drives to benefit workers impacted by the shutdown. As it anticipates the continuing increased need and works to keep its shelves stocked, Feeding the Gulf Coast encourages you to consider hosting a food drive of your own or making a monetary donation designated for shutdown relief. For more information on how to give, visit the website at or call (888) 704-FOOD.

About Feeding the Gulf Coast:

Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly Bay Area Food Bank, serves a 24-county area spanning south Alabama, south Mississippi and the Panhandle of Florida. In 2018, the food bank distributed over 22 million meals to over 400 church pantries, soup kitchens and other nonprofit organizations throughout its service area. The food bank also operates multiple hunger-relief and nutrition programs, including Summer Meals, Afterschool Meal, Backpack, Disaster Relief, Mobile Pantry and Produce Drop Distributions, Nutrition Education, and SNAP Outreach. Feeding the Gulf Coast is a United Way member agency and a member of Feeding America. For more information, visit

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