CAPE MAY, NJ (WTXF) - It's day 21 of the government shutdown and it's the first pay day that hundreds of thousands of federal workers did not get a pay check. At this point, there's still no end in sight. There's a glimmer of hope for those affected by the shutdown in our area. A group is stepping up to help members at the Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May.
Grocery shopping at the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center at Cape May. It’s got most of what you’d find out any other supermarket except a cash register. This is the base food pantry—bigger and better than ever since the government shutdown that will leave a thousand families on this base with out their January 15 paycheck.
FOX 29 found a 20-year-old Rivers Culicerto stocking up for the weekend while wondering how she and her Coast Guardsmen husband will make ends meet.
“Right after the holidays, it’s ridiculous timing. People have children, people have needs—gas, food, doctors appointments. It’s just sad,' she said.
Joann Ludwig-Jones has a guardsman husband and two children at home. They are also planning for a missed paycheck.
“Of course, there’s loans and there’s other ways to get by. I myself, am thinking about driving for Uber again," she said.
On Friday afternoon, the pantry was packed. 10 shoppers at a time allowed in the small room with a long line waiting out back.
The people who upgraded this pantry barely a week ago, the Jersey Cape Military Spouse Club, along with the Chief Petty Officers Association say it took some effort to help people overcome their pride and accept help.
“Slowly but surely I think it was more normalized," Jessica Manfre with the Jersey Cape Military Spouse Club said. "I think I’ve done a good job and so have the other spouses in the club saying that we can pay it forward later.”
The Cape May community has stepped up big time and donations keep pouring in.
If you wish to help, please email Jessica Manfre at email@example.com.