HOUSTON — The Houston Food Bank is hoping unpaid federal workers visit one of 600 pantry locations across the area if they need help feeding their families. 

“We’ve been receiving more phone calls from furloughed workers,” says Melanie Pang who oversees Government Relations for the Houston Food Bank. 

“So we have food available and we also have coordinators that can help people enroll in things like SNAP, or food stamps, to get that on-going assistance for as long as that shutdown continues,” says Pang. 

With the help of the Houston Federal Executive Board, the Houston Food Bank sent an email to the thousands of unpaid government workers informing them of available assistance.

A brand new app, which you can find in your smartphone’s App Store, allows a user to find the nearest pantry location. The average box of food will save a person about $21, which allows a furloughed employee to use the money for other things. 

Houston Food Bank app
Houston Food Bank

The decision to seek help from the Houston Food Bank is one some federal workers never thought they’d have to make. 

“Well,” says Pang, “I’ve actually heard this one story of a gentleman who said he’d been donating to the food bank for years and never though he’d be in this position.”