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As federal workers go on without pay, list of options for help grows


An organization which reaches out to hungry individuals is now getting involved with connecting furloughed federal workers to help amidst an ongoing partial government shutdown. It is just one of many new gestures Friday, as affected federal workers miss a second scheduled paycheck.

Food Gnomes, a local mobile food pantry service based in Buffalo, finds and serves clients with the motto "if you are hungry, we will feed you."

Spokesperson Amanda Ocasio tells WBFO they observed others putting together and publishing lists of available services and giveaways to assist federal workers and their families. They decided they needed to create their own (click here), with emphasis on services in the immediate Buffalo area.

"Most of the other lists focus on national resources. Our list is Buffalo specific," Ocasio said. "Second, while most of the other lists out there focus on work being done by larger established organizations, ours includes community members who just want to help."

Meanwhile, at the state level, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also directing state education officials to provide free school lunches to any child impacted by the partial federal government shutdown.

The Democrat said Thursday that meals will be available for children of federal employees, as well as students whose families rely on federal benefits that could be delayed because of the shutdown, now more than a month old.

As part of the effort, local districts will contact families that could be impacted by the shutdown to tell them how to sign up their student for free school meals.

The shutdown could have big implications for the state's school meals program if it continues through March. Education officials say that is when federal funds for the program dry up.

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