Cori-Beth and Kevin know exactly what is left in their refrigerator and pantry. Their fridge looks sad, they said, with only a half a gallon of milk, a bit of cheese, some salami, two TV dinners and some potatoes. There’s not much in their pantry either, with only a couple of canned food items left.
“It used to be where you’d, you could see the whole front of the cupboard back, like when you go to the store, how there’s cans going back. There’s like one row of cans in the back,” Kevin said. “So, we’re stretching it. And we wouldn’t have even imposed on you guys if it hadn’t gotten to that point.”
The couple has been hit hard during the government shutdown—the longest in U.S. history. Since they are both federal employees, they don’t have any income coming in.
After they missed their first paycheck, the couple, along with their 13-year old daughter, started to make adjustments in their eating habits and around home.
“We were not expecting the shutdown to last this long. So, up for the last part of December we were as normal, but when the last check came that’s when we started curtailing things,” Kevin said.
To save money on electricity, the family is sleeping in a single room that they’re able to heat separately, and they only heat up the kitchen in the morning when the family wakes up. Their daughter has given them her Christmas money to help her parents out.
To make sure their daughter is able to take her regular lunches to school, her parents have resorted to skipping meals.
“One thing we did not skimp on was her school lunches. So, you know, honestly what she and I will do right now to save money is not have breakfast, and we’ll just have brunch. So we’ve skipped a meal and we’ve saved some food that way,” Kevin said.
With a nearly empty fridge and pantry, Kevin and Cori-Beth decided to attend the Food Bank’s recent special distribution for federal employees. A first for Cori-Beth.
The couple was one of 851 households served during the distribution. They were able to get canned food to fill up their pantry, hygiene kits, produce and more information on how to access food.
“We’re all the way out in Taylor, so it was a trip to come here today but it’s worth it, clearly, because, you guys were able to assist where we needed it. We really appreciate that,” Cori-Beth said.
The Food Bank is here to help federal employees during this tough time, if you or anyone you know needs food assistance, you can find a pantry near you here. If you're not in need, please help us keep our shelves stocked. A $1 donation helps us provide 4 meals for families in need. Donate today!