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As federal employees wait for back pay, local church lends helping hand

woods chapel united methodist
Posted at 6:56 AM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 09:14:27-05

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — Federal employees head back to work Monday after the longest government shutdown in history.

Many employees will receive back pay by the end of the week, but as employees wait, some local organizations and churches continue to lend a helping hand.

Woods Chapel United Methodist Church opened its food pantry to help people who have been impacted by the shutdown.

“These are people we live next to, we work with, we play sports with,” Lead Pastor Robyn Miller said. “Our kids go to school together. We're neighbors and we feel that if one of us is in a challenging spot, we're all in a challenging spot.”

Missions Coordinator Joyce Appel said the church has been helping out in other ways, too.

“We have a utility assistance program where we're able to offer a little bit of money towards the utility to prevent that from getting shut off,” Appel said. “Then we also have these Walmart gift cards which have been donated by our congregations that are sort of helping fill the gap and meet needs in an immediate way.”

The food pantry is open Tuesdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Thursdays 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Donations have been provided by members of the congregation and people throughout the community.

To learn more on how to help, click here.