Greensboro nonprofit gives boxes of food to federal employees impacted by government shutdown

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — After weeks of work without a paycheck under a government shutdown, a Greensboro nonprofit aimed to give federal employees a helping hand Wednesday evening.

The Out of the Garden Project provided boxes of food to impacted government employees and anyone recently out of a job. Volunteer Gary Karikorian worked at the federal level for years and suggested the idea to the nonprofit’s director.

“Many are lower-salaried employees, surely there are some higher-salaried employees, but surely for the lower-salaried people that bank on that check coming in every two weeks, and when it doesn’t come they have to determine where to cut back,” he said.

While many picking up boxes were not directly impacted by the shutdown yet, some were worried about how their monthly food assistance would be affected next month.

Dimisha Roberts said that she was already planning ways to adjust for her family.

“I’m going to visit a lot more food drives and maybe go to the hot soup kitchen and try to eat, that’s all I can do,” she said.

Executive Director Don Milholin said that the mobile market aligned with the organization’s mission to provide food to families in need.

“We often will do special drops for schools and for families, and we thought, ‘Why not for federal employees or anyone who’s been displaced in the last few months?” he said.

The organization could be impacted by the shutdown itself, as 15 percent of the food they hand out is provided by federal donations.

Milholin says that could impact the amount of fresh food they’re able to distribute.

“It’s kind of like the federal workers I think some agencies have a little bit built up that they can pay one paycheck, but they don’t have enough to cover the second one, so it would make a significant difference.”

Milholin said around 100 families received boxes Wednesday evening.

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