Sophia Barnes

How to Help Federal Workers Impacted by the Partial Government Shutdown

Federal workers affected by the partial government shutdown are feeling a financial squeeze, but there are many ways citizens are working to ease the stress.

About 800,000 federal employees on furlough or working without pay missed their first payday on Jan. 11, forcing many households to bridge the financial gap by cutting back on purchases and turning to public assistance.

If there's any silver lining, it's that the public has tried to help those in need, from celebrity chef Jose Andres' free kitchen to citizen Laniera Jones' list of resources for workers.

One way to help is by calling your Senator or Representative and voicing your opinion to their staff.

If you're looking to get help during the government shutdown, NBC Washington has a running list of resources here.

Here are some more ways that you can help federal workers during the government shutdown:


Capital Area Food Bank

You can donate money to one of the area's foremost food banks.

World Central Kitchen #ChefsForFeds: Direct Donation

World Central Kitchen is open in D.C. to feed federal workers. You can donate directly to Jose Andres' charity on their website.

#ChefsForFeds: GoFundMe to Feed Furloughed Workers

The organizer says that money raised through this GoFundMe goes to Andres' World Central Kitchen.

The kitchen, at 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, near the United States Navy Memorial, is set to be open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It's serving a "rotating menu of hot meals, sandwiches and salads," a statement from the nonprofit said.

Goodie Girl Bags

This organization hands out pads, tampons and other feminine hygiene products to those in need. You can find a list of places to drop off donations here.

GreaterDC Diaper Bank


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Homes and businesses throughout the area have sites where you can drop brand new and unexpired diapers, formula, bottles, wipes and more. You can also donate some gently-used baby furniture, like baby bathtubs and soft-sided, front baby carriers.

Find all the places to drop off donations here. You can also donate money online.

Greater Washington Community Foundation

The Greater Washington Community Foundation has run its Resilience Fund since 2017 to cover for those impacted by budget impasses, and they are currently providing assistance to smaller nonprofits aiding everyone affected by the current shutdown. You can donate to their fund here.

Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless

The Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless provides services for those in the midst of homelessness or a housing crisis. They are accepting donations and volunteers. 

Manna Food Center

The Manna Food Center accepts donations of food and money. You can also volunteer.

National Park Restoration Fund

The National Park Foundation is raising money to fund clean-up and restoration once the shutdown is over. Donate here.

PGCPS Meals Challenge

Prince George's County Public Schools are fundraising to give kids in affected families free breakfast and dinner during the shutdown. Donate here. Buy a Beer for a Fed

Sipping a cold beer is a great way to pass the time on furlough. allows you to buy one or more beers that the site will give away to a federal worker. All the beers are from local craft breweries. Donations start at $7.50.

Rock Creek Conservancy

The Rock Creek Conservancy says it will help with any needed fixes when the shutdown ends.

Women Who Care Ministries

This faith-based nonprofit based in Montgomery Village is devoted to providing safety net services for those dealing with low-income or hunger.


Arlington Food Assistance Center

From packing boxes to driving deliveries, there's lots to help out with at this Arlington food pantry. You can also donate money or food.

Capital Area Food Bank

Make an account and sign up for a shift to help feed anyone suffering food insecurity in our area.

Collect Trash at National Park Sites

Many National Parks are technically open to visitors during the shutdown, but trash collection has stopped. Check the forecast and head to a park with a trash bag to scoop up some litter. Take precautions: Check the weather before you go, make sure trails are safe and consider wearing protective gloves.

GreaterDC Diaper Bank

Sign up ahead of time for volunteer shifts or offer to host a diaper drive at your home

Interfaith Works

Interfaith Works is currently providing assistance to Montgomery County residents through its Emergency Assistance Coalition, which connects furloughed workers to human services.

Manna Food Center

The Manna Food Center accepts donations of food and money. You can also volunteer.

United Planning Organization

Year-round, UPO and volunteers work to fight poverty throughout D.C. with education, community health, job training and youth services programs.

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