BOISE, Idaho — It is now three weeks into the partial government shutdown, which is affecting the tens of thousands of federal workers in Idaho. Local charities are stepping in to provide assistance to those that need help making ends meet.
The Idaho Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul of Southwest Idaho have both stated that they've seen an increase in requests for help.
In addition to several food pantries around the Valley, St. Vincent de Paul has a helpline for people needing assistance with rent, utilities, transportation, and clothing. The help is dependent on a home visit.
Executive Director Ralph May says some of the people who've called or came in for help today said they were furloughed federal workers, while others were reluctant to talk about it.
"We would encourage the federal workers that are going without their pay to avail themselves of the help that we offer," May said.
"However long this drags on, perhaps we will struggle a bit. but we are -- and I want to assure people that we are very much in solidarity with their challenges and what they face," May said. "And so we'll be there 'til the last whatever we have -- food on the shelf or last penny in the coffer."
If you'd like to help with St. Vincent de Paul, the organization welcomes donations of money and good, usable items for its thrift stores.
Proceeds from the stores go towards the food pantry and helpline programs.