EPB, Hamilton Co. Schools step in to help federal workers approaching second missed paycheck
Friday will mark the 35th day since the government shutdown began and a second missed payday for federal workers. Now, as a result, more local entities are stepping in to help federal workers who've been impacted in the Tennessee Valley.
"We don't know how long this is going to continue in terms of the partial government shutdown. We just empathize with people struggling to pay their bills," said EPB Spokesman John Pless.
Payday is usually one people look forward to but with federal workers expected to miss a second check tomorrow, EPB wants to help ease the burden on government employees.
"We know that life sometimes will throw us a curveball," Pless told Channel 3.
EPB is offering help with bills, while Hamilton County Schools are lending a hand with meals.
"Some people really are struggling so we have some partner agencies in town that we work with that can help provide some financial support if they qualify for those programs," Pless explained.
The Hamilton County School District is helping government workers with kids in the district, by extending free and reduced lunch applications.
They hope to reach parents on Facebook.
"We knew that with a large number of our parents being impacted by the government shutdown, they may need some extra benefits with free breakfast and lunch, " Director of School Nutrition Kristen Nauss said.
Nauss says it cost about $5.00 a day for one student to eat at school. Over the course of a school year, that adds up.
"If a child ate breakfast and lunch with us the entire school year, it would cost about $800," she explained.
Though free and reduced breakfast and lunch is a federal program, Nauss says Hamilton County isn't in danger of running out of funding anytime soon.
She says other school districts are starting to cut back in response to the shutdown, but Hamilton County's program has reserve funding to last through the school year.
Click here to go to the Hamilton County Schools free and reduced lunch application.
If you or someone you know is an EPB customer being impacted by the shutdown, you can contact their customer service number at 423-648-1372.