Many families along Route 1 and the DC Metro area are affected by the ongoing federal government shutdown. Route One Fun put together this list of local resources for federal workers – groceries, meals, diapers, period products, pet food, utilities, mortgage and rent assistance and more – to hopefully make this time a little bit easier on those affected in our local communities.
Know of more offers of support for furloughed workers not listed below? Comment below and will update the list ASAP.
Help with Meals & Groceries for Furloughed Families
🍲 Free Meals at DC’s World Central Kitchen
At DC’s World Central Kitchen, federal employees in need and their families can receive food to eat or food to take home to their families from the kitchen and cafe. Location: 701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington DC 20004; hours 11am-6pm. (While there, also check out the adjacent Resource Center for Federal Employees!)
🍏 Help with Groceries
Deeply discounted groceries are available for purchase at the SHARE Pantry on Monday, January 28th, starting at noon in Landover, Maryland. No application or limitations.
Free bag of Kraft products at the Kraft Now. Pay Later pop-up store in DC for federal government employees presenting ID. From their Facebook event page: “Come by our pop-up in D.C., grab some groceries. Don’t worry about paying now. Once the situation gets back to normal, if you can pay it back we would ask you to pay it forward to your favorite charity.”
Keep an eye on the Capital Area Food Bank‘s website for the next free Pop Up Market for government employees and contractors affected by the furlough. At last Saturday’s event, 8 different locations each distributed free produce and shelf-stable items to 500 people.
👉 Saturday, January 26th from 9am-11am, CAFB will be distributing FREE produce and shelf-stable items at 6 locations for government employees and contractors, including Greenbelt, Rockville, Camp Springs and Kettering in Maryland, Brentwood Rd NE in DC and Gainesville & Alexandria in VA. Most are at Giant Food Stores. See here for specific addresses.
Riverdale Park Farmers Market is offering furloughed federal government employees a $5 gift certificate for use at the market; just stop by the market information booth with your ID to collect. Offer lasts each Thursday until the shutdown is over.
For a list of community food resources available for furloughed workers in Southern Maryland, see this post here.
🍎 Help-By-Phone Pantry
There are 8 Help-By-Phone pantries in Prince George’s County, serving Berwyn Heights, Greenbelt, College Park, Beltsville, Laurel, Riverdale Park and parts of Hyattsville. Call 301-474-7573 for a screening and a representative will direct you to the pantry fitting your zip code.
👶 Help with Diapers, Breastfeeding & Period Products
On January 23rd – 25th (11am-1pm), the Greater DC Diaper Bank is providing 100 diapers per baby, period products and incontinence items. Must bring government ID and birth certificate for each child. See here for more details.
The Breastfeeding Center in DC is offering a number of services to furloughed workers for free, including free weight checks for baby, free space to pump/nurse, free or reduced-rate private consultations, free pump rentals, free support group, free snacks and 20% off supplies. More information here.
🐶 Help Feeding Furry Friends of Furloughed Workers 🐱
Bark Pawsitive Petfood is offering a free bag of pet food for federal employees displaying their government ID. (Closest stores are in Silver Spring & Rockville.)
Head to the Pop Up Pet Pantry on Saturday (1/26) and Sunday (1/27), 12-4pm at Community Forklift with your federal ID (leave pet at home) to receive approximately one week of pet supplies per person dependent on donations at the time. The Pop Up Pet Pantry will be running through Saturday, February 9th, depending on volunteer staffing/donations.
Mortgage & Rental Assistance for Furloughed Families
In Maryland, emergency cash assistance is available for families (with children under 21 living with them) who need help paying rent or utilities or for other emergencies. More information available about Emergency Assistance to Families with Children here.
In DC, there are several nonprofits that offer counseling to help with making your mortgage payments, including NACA. For assistance with making rent payments, the DC’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program may be able to help you pay.
Help with Utilities for Furloughed Families
🚰 Help with Water Payments
For Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, WSSC announced here that it would “suspend all water service shutoffs to ensure safe, clean water continues to flow to customer’s homes. [WSSC will also] waive late fees and work one-on-one with customers impacted by the shutdown to establish convenient payment plans.
Likewise in DC, DC Water announced here that it would “provide anyone affected by the shutdown with a payment plan or other options for paying their bill.” Contact 202-354-3600 for more information.
✨Help with Gas Payments
Washington Gas is offering “flexible payment arrangements for government employees directly impacted.” These arrangements may include payment plans, deferred payments as well as needs-based assistance from the Washington Area Fuel Fund.
More information about helping furloughed federal employees in Prince George’s County make their utilities payments in this post, here.
Financial Assistance for Furloughed Federal Workers
Nury Siekkinen (formerly of Hyattsville) reached out to share that her law firm – ZwillGen – is offering no-interest, no-credit check loans of up to $500 to federal employees. Restrictions apply. More information here.
More Information on Furlough Resources for DC & Maryland Families
In Washington, DC, this DC government page will show you a list of resources to assist during the federal government shutdown.
Many Maryland counties have created pages on their websites dedicated to storing and relaying additional information on furlough resources, including:
- Anne Arundel County
- Baltimore County
- Frederick County
- Howard County
- Prince George’s County
- Montgomery County
As I noted in this earlier Route One Fun post about the furlough, having been a federal employee who’s gone through a furlough in the past (albeit way shorter than this one), I know these are stressful times and hope this information lightens your load, even if just a wee bit. In solidarity – Sarah.
Many thanks to Children’s Choice Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics for sponsoring this post to get the word out about these resources to our local communities. And thank you, dear Route One Fun readers, for supporting the awesome businesses that support Route One Fun!