Feeding South Florida helps furloughed employees on Day 34 of Government shutdown

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Feeding South Florida took to Miami International Airport on Day 34 of the government shutdown to continue to help furloughed employees.

Thursday morning, starting at around 10 a.m., the non-profit organization provided produce and groceries to 1,000 U.S. Customs and TSA agents.

Feeding South Florida also went to the City of Miami’s Federal Detention Center delivering groceries to the unpaid guards.

There is an estimated 400 guards at the prison that will not be receiving their second paycheck since the government shutdown.

Khalil Abdel, the Florida Department of Corrections Union President, said he’s “exhausted.”

“Working 8, 10, 12 hour shifts, and we’re getting to the point where we have no monetary means of getting to work, and it’s becoming real difficult for the staff,” Abdel said.

The CEO of Feeding South Florida, Paco Velez, said, “It’s really about making sure that those that are keeping us safe and secure and protecting us are also secure in when they’re going to get their next meal.”

“A lot of these families really don’t, I say all of them, don’t have any income coming in, and we want to make sure we can put food on the table for them and their kids,” Velez said.

The Subway inside of MIA also offered free meals to the TSA workers.

One TSA agent at MIA, Humphrey Montoya, said, “These kind of times, I’ve never been used to anything like this in my life, so to have someone to give this out and us to be able to take advantage of it is really huge. I’m very appreciative to all these food places that have been bringing food to us.”

However, MIA isn’t the only place where the South Florida community has stepped up to help those in need.

On Thursday evening, another South Florida business, Lincoln’s Beard Brewery, held a donation drive for Coast Guard families affected by the shutdown.

The fundraiser collected essential supplies, money and gift cards for gas and groceries to help 1,500 active duty unpaid service members.

“A lot of these members in the Coast Guard that are living paycheck-to-paycheck and have missed one paycheck,” Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association President Kyle Pulk said, “and some of our civilian workforce that have missed two paychecks.”

Feeding South Florida will make its way to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Friday to help furloughed employees there.

“It’s helping us,” TSA agent Nilsa Rosado said. “Every time there’s a food drive, I’m one of the first persons to bring something.”

Meanwhile, in Broward County, the South Florida Muslim Federation delivered food for 100 Fort Lauderdale families in need.

“When we saw this situation developing, we decided to do something,” Friends of Humanity International, Inc.’s Mohamed Javed said. “I am so proud of my community and all of these members that are here today to make it happen. We’re going to continue this until the shutdown is finished.”

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