Furloughed National Park Workers Need Food

October 08, 2013

A food bank in Phoenix has shipped 600 emergency food boxes to the Grand Canyon. The supplies are intended for furloughed employees at the national park.

unloading Unloading of supplies at a fire station in Tusayan. (Photo courtesy of St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance)

More than 2,200 Grand Canyon employees have been out of work since the federal government shutdown, and now some of them cannot afford to eat.

St. Mary’s Food Bank spokesman Jerry Brown said his organization responded to a call for help from a smaller food bank that operates outside the park. It had been picked clean by people looking for help.

“We’ve dealt with tornadoes and natural disasters of all kinds, snowstorms, fires. This is the first government-made disaster that we’ve had to deal with,” Brown said.

One truckload of food was allowed to enter the park to serve employees who live on the grounds.

“Our truck was the only one that was able to get past the gate to go in there,” Brown said.

The food bank will continue weekly shipments until the shutdown is over.

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