For 35 days, the United States federal government shut down—the longest government shut down in the history of the United States.
Though some parts of the government continued working, many federal workers did not receive paychecks. This left many employees without funds to supply their basic needs. The San Diego Food Bank responded to the crisis, using staff and volunteers to distribute necessary food to those in need.
The San Diego Food Bank website encourages those affected by the shutdown to contact the Food Bank for emergency food distribution.
“While the government shutdown has ended, many federal workers who were furloughed during the shutdown continue to face financial difficulties,” The website states.
PLNU’s Student Dietetic Association hosted a Food Drive in partnership with San Diego Food Bank. Bins were located in popular spots around campus such as the library, gym, Brown Chapel and more.
“We knew many local families were impacted by the government shutdown,” says senior dietetics major, Claudia Madrid. “The food bank was hit hard and needed help replenishing its supply.”
The San Diego Food Bank made it easy to host the food drive by supplying all the resources needed to make the drive successful, according to Madrid.
Senior dietetics major Julia Chandler says the association was motivated by the individuals who were without work, or worked without pay. The food bank needed more donations due to the increased demand during and after the government shutdown.
“We just wanted to help out those who were in need of assistance to meet their basic needs,” says Chandler. “Our hearts went out for these government workers who are in what are supposed to be very steady jobs with reliable pay, who were totally blindsided by the length and magnitude of the shutdown.”
According to Madrid, the food drive was a big success. “Seeing students, faculty, staff and friends of the community join in to help the cause was awesome,” she says.
The Student Dietetic Association will be volunteering at the food bank to help sort donations and prepare resources for the programs the food bank offers, according to Madrid.
The San Diego Food Bank is always accepting donations and nonperishable food items. According to the San Diego Food Bank website, some of their most needed food items are canned meats, peanut butter, canned soup, canned fruit, canned vegetables, beans, nuts, cereal and rice. Visit sandiegofoodbank.org for more information.