Food pantry at JAX benefits furloughed TSA workers

Feeding Northeast Florida hosts event at Jacksonville International Airport

By Brittany Muller - Reporter, Ashley Harding - Reporter, Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As the partial government shutdown drags on, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will likely miss yet another paycheck on Friday. It will be their second payday without pay since the shutdown began.

The need is so dire that Feeding Northeast Florida set up a food pantry Wednesday at Jacksonville International Airport to help TSA workers.

The food pantry opened at 11:30 a.m. behind the security gate, offering 7,000 meals available to more than 150 TSA employees who are having to work without pay during the shutdown. The food available includes proteins, fruits and vegetables.

"These are the people that keep our airways safe," Feeding Northeast Florida President and CEO Frank Castillo said. "While in other communities, we've seen (sick) callouts go up. Callouts are actually going down here. The vast majority of people we're helping here, with the U.S. Coast Guard and different federal employees, they will tell you they've never utilized this type of service The food bank is here to ensure that in this time of need, the people get what they need."

Federal workers are advised to bring their federal ID to take part in the food pantry. Castillo said the food pantry will be available at the airport until it's no longer needed.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.