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Covington Agency to Open Free Pantry for Federal Workers After Tentative Shutdown Agreement

A Covington agency that had set special sessions of its free pantry for unpaid federal employees said the initiative will go on despite a tentative deal reached Friday to end the partial government shutdown.

Be Concerned will host pantry sessions Saturday from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at its Covington headquarters at 1100 Pike St. 

President Donald Trump announced a suspension of the shutdown until Feb. 15 so negotiators can try to work out a larger immigration and border security compromise.

Some federal workers had already missed two paychecks and it’s uncertain when their pay will resume, said Be Concerned executive Director Andy Brunsman.

“So, we decided to go ahead and still make this help available because we think some people are going to need it,” he said. Response to the sessions will determine whether they continue into February, he said.

The extra sessions Saturday and Tuesday were set up exclusively for furloughed federal workers or those in the federal work force being required to work without pay because of the shutdown, which lasted 35 days. The help will be available to Ohio and Indiana residents as well as Kentuckians.

Workers should bring their federal I.D. or other proof of employment in the federal workforce.

Be Concerned will employ the “choice model” for the sessions, which means participants will shop in the pantry with a volunteer and select what they want, although quantities may  be limited. Workers may access the pantry weekly as long as the special sessions go on.

During each visit, they will receive fresh produce, meat, eggs, pasta, cereal, drinks, canned and package goods – 50-70 lbs. of groceries in all, depending on inventory available.

-Staff report