Local Organizers Help Feed Federal Employees During Government Shutdown


“We usually have a normal happy everyday demeanor around here. We’re a big family but the morale has started to go down since we missed our first paycheck,” said Arkansas’ American Federal Government Employees Local President, Cherry Hooten.

Over 60 TSA employees at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport are going without pay as the government shutdown continues.

“Ya know they’re in front line jobs many of them and they hear complaints from time to time from travelers so they appreciate the outpouring of support. I just wish we could find ways to do more,” said Runway Group Chief Collaboration Officer, Mike Malone.

Friday, the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank and Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport joined together to make sure these employees can take a breath of relief.

“We’re all this close from needing help and they’re just going to work like they regularly would. And no fault to theirs they aren’t getting a paycheck. We’re in a position where we can help out,” said President and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, Kent Eikenberry.

Local president of Arkansas’ American Federal Government Employees Group Cherry Hooten said getting even a little bit of help makes a big difference during this time.

“It’s definitely some relief, we really appreciate it that way any little money that we do have saved we don’t have to spend on groceries we’re able to utilize that somewhere else,” said Hooten.

As the shutdown lingers on Hooten said they will continue to work and give back to passengers just as they have done for them.

“Some individual passengers have brought stuff, we had an American pilot who stopped by and brought dinner for everybody who was on duty one night so there’s been a lot of help and we really appreciate it,” said Hooten.

Organizer of the event Mike Malone said he spoke with one woman Friday who said even though her paychecks stop, paying for things like insulin doesn’t.

Malone hopes Northwest Arkansas can continue to help these employees in bigger ways. 

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