West Virginia organizations expand services for federal workers


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Robin Fields, Amber Tharp and Tim Howard, all employees at the Beckley WV Medical Center, unload food boxes for distribution from the Mountaineer Mood Bank on Thursday morning.
(Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson)

BECKLEY, W.Va.  As the partial federal government shutdown entered its 27th day Thursday, organizations throughout West Virginia extended services to assist federal employees who might be struggling without their paychecks.

At the Beckley Veterans Affairs Medical Center Thursday morning, a routine mobile food pantry for senior veterans, put on by Mountaineer Food Bank, expanded to meet the needs of federal workers.

“It was kind of a last-minute decision, but we decided we needed to do something after getting calls from federal agencies — from the prisons and the FBI — that were concerned for their employees,” said Vicki Cawthon, agency relations coordinator for Mountaineer Food Bank. “That’s what we do here — we feed people. If they’re hungry, their families are hungry; we’re going to do whatever we can.”

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