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A Staff Perspective on the Government Shutdown: Julie Smith

Updated: May 14

Guest Contributor | Julie Smith, Human Resources Director at FARSB

Could you imagine having a child (or children) to care for and suddenly losing access to your hard-earned money? Could you imagine going through this with a sick child? This may have been the case for some of the 800,000 federal employees that had their pay withheld during the government shutdown.

My name is Julie, and I am the HR Director at Feeding America Riverside|SanBernardino (FARSB), where I have spent my last 3 years working to fight hunger. FARSB is located in the heart of the IE where food insecurity is commonplace. I have encountered many community members that have come to the food bank for assistance. This is heart-wrenching, as no human should ever do without the basic necessities of life.

Our country recently experienced the longest government shutdown in history. This affected many community members that have never experienced food insecurity, hunger, or the need to seek assistance. I was able to interact with those who sought help-- some of which had children, had just joined the workforce, or were just making ends meet. I received many hugs, thanks, and tears of appreciation from neighbors who had no idea we existed, or who never thought they would ever be in a situation of need.

I am proud to work with a team that works hard to see to it that no individual is turned away, that they receive nothing less than what they would give to their own families. The overwhelming gratitude that the federal workers had for the help FARSB offered, solidified my commitment to our cause, To Alleviate Hunger In The IE.

If fighting for those in need is important to you, like it is for me, I urge you to consider giving back to your local food bank, where 98 cents of every dollar goes to supporting hunger-relief programs like the emergency assistance program that helped assist federal workers during their time of need.

Every dollar contributes to the well-being of families throughout the Inland Empire today, tomorrow, and in years to come.


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