State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D—Far Rockaway) started a collection drive for federal workers affected by the government shutdown in Rosedale on Jan. 18. The Queens official, along with the American Federation of Government Employees and the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, launched the drive to assist government employees currently on leave or working unpaid.
The partial shutdown, which started on Dec. 22 after President Trump and Congress were unable to come to an agreement on a border wall proposal, is currently affecting over 800,000 workers.
Sanders says the community should come out and show support to the people who have not received a paycheck since the shutdown started.
“These hardworking men and women who serve our nation should not be punished, or left struggling to support themselves and their families over Trump’s feud with Congress,” he said. “We should all do our part to help these federal workers during their time of need.”
In the partial shutdown, several federal agencies are affected, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Agriculture, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Immigrant Customs Enforcement (ICE), and more. People employed at these agencies have to continue working without pay until the shutdown comes to a close.
To provide support to local workers who are directly affected, Sen. Sanders said he has been asking donors to bring canned or non-perishable food items, childcare items such as diapers and formula, and personal hygiene products to his district office.
He said this drive was a way to pay back the people who were usually the ones giving.
“We don’t know these people, but they are not strangers to us,” said Sanders. “These are our neighbors. These are very proud people who are usually the ones giving to the food pantries. They are not used to coming and receiving from the food pantries. To the workers, I say, the shame is not yours. You need to come out. Don’t sit in your home hungry.”
Federal workers with urgent needs can pick up items collected for them at Sen. Sanders office by calling in advance, or picking up during usual business hours. They can also visit the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, for the food pantry every Wednesday evening.
Workers must also present valid identification and call the Sen. Sanders office in advance at (718) 523-3069, to arrange pick-up.
Drop-off and pick-up location at State Sen. Sanders District Office [142-01 Rockaway Blvd. at 142nd Street in South Ozone] Mon-Fri, 9 am–5 pm.
Food Pantry at Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483 [240-08 135th Ave. between Brookville Boulevard and 241st Street in Rosedale]. Wednesdays, 5–7 pm.