Juneau food bank opens doors to federal workers during shutdown

Canned goods on the shelf at the Southeast Alaska Food Bank in March 2015. (Photo by Kevin Reagan/ KTOO)

As the partial government shutdown enters its second month, more people than usual are stopping by the food bank in Juneau.

Darren Adams is the manager of Southeast Alaska Food Bank. He said the shutdown took a lot of people by surprise.

“There have been some individuals who have told me they never thought they’d be in this position,” he said.

On Monday he will open the food bank beyond its regular hours. Between noon and 4 p.m., he’s inviting federal workers to come by and take home up to 50 pounds of food. All they need to show is federal identification.

Adams said the longer the shutdown lasts, the greater the need becomes.

“A lot of people think, okay I can make a week’s worth of groceries stretch for ten days if I need to, but you can’t make a week’s worth of groceries stretch for a month,” he said.

He added that since the shutdown began, he’s heard from more people in Juneau who want to volunteer their time — including federal workers on furlough.

Adams said he will continue to open the food bank to federal workers every Monday until the government is reopened.