Food pantry at Marshall University welcomes federal workers

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A food pantry at Marshall University is welcoming federal workers who are struggling during the partial government shutdown.

Marshall's Department of Dietetics will open its pantry doors beginning Saturday, Jan. 19.

“We are deeply committed to providing nutrition education and programming to not only our students, but to those we serve in our community as well,” said Dr. Kelli Williams, chair of the university’s dietetics program. “We understand our federal employees may need a little extra help at this time, and we will keep our food pantry open to them as long as they need it.”

There are more than 800,000 federal government employees across the United States. Approximately 18,000 of them are in West Virginia.

Non-essential workers, about 380,000 were furloughed. They are not working and not being paid. Essential employees, approximately 420,000, are still on the job without pay. Those numbers have shifted a bit in recent days as the IRS and some other agencies have called more employees back to work, according to the Associated Press.

These employees are in limbo as Republicans and Democrats go back and forth on funding to build President Donald Trump's long-promised U.S.-Mexico border wall. The partial government shutdown began Dec. 22, 2018.

President Trump signed a bill that will provide back pay to affected employees, the White House announced Wednesday. But in the meantime, they are getting zeros on their paychecks.

Marshall University's pantry is located at 1802 6th Avenue in the Tri-State MRI Building. Here are the hours:

Wednesdays: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Fridays: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Saturdays (every third Saturday of the month): 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.