Plano food pantry helps federal workers affected by shutdown

People furloughed or working without pay during the federal government shutdown got help Monday from a Plano food pantry.

At least two workers who came to Minnie’s Food Pantry said they’ve been through a few shutdowns, but this one has felt different. It’s the first time some of them have had to ask for help and visit the pantry.

One man, a TSA bomb specialist, said he tried applying for SNAP benefits. But he didn’t qualify because the income he is supposed to be earning is too high combined with his wife’s, who is a teacher. But, the last paycheck he received had zero dollars.

“It's tough, but we have a job to do, protecting the public,” said Brandon Weaver. “The airport has been very good to us. Vendors and airports have been donating food in the morning for breakfast, lunch, so forth. A lot of people have stepped up to really help us out, it's been nice.”

Weaver said he just wants to take care of his family.

“You've got to do what you've got to do. When you're running out of food you have to feed your family. It's tough, it really is tough.”

In the midst of the shutdown uncertainty, weaver said he’s seen hope and support from his family, work and even strangers. Some people have been donating gifts or gift cards to federal workers and DFW Airport has brought in donuts and Chick-fil-A to employees.

Minnie’s Food Pantry opened on a day it would normally be closed. Officials there said it will continue to help workers as long as the partial shutdown persists.