Food pantry helping unpaid workers during shutdown

A North Texas food pantry is offering to help government workers who are struggling because of the shutdown.

The director at Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano said it is prepared to help federal employees. Typically, the pantry gives recipients a month’s worth of food. But in this case, government workers are being allowed to request food weekly.

Workers just need to bring in an ID and a paycheck stub showing they did not earn any money. Minnie’s Food Pantry will provide enough food to last the household one entire week.

“There’s no judgment here. What you drive or how you came here or what you look like when you came here. Our goal is to make people feel better about the situation they’re currently in,” said Lynette Wellington, the pantry director.

Last month the pantry planned ahead by budgeting extra money for the government closure. Minnie’s was set to move into a new building soon but decided to delay the move and use the money to help families in need.

Minnie’s Food Pantry hopes families will take advantage of the help.

"I think one of the weirdest things is seeing the lack of hope in the faces of people because they don't know what's gonna happen to their future and we're trying to establish some sense of stability and hope for them while they're going through this,” Wellington said.

The pantry is open Wednesday through Friday and the first and fourth Saturdays of every month. The process of picking up food takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

Minnie’s said it has been seeing new families who have never used the pantry before and signing them up. They’re also seeing people they haven’t seen in years who use SNAP benefits and are now having to budget differently.

To donate money or time to Minnie’s Food Pantry, visit