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How Americans are coming together to support federal workers

The weeks-long partial government shutdown has many Americans losing faith. But at the same time, groups are coalescing to provide support to the hundreds of thousands of federal employees going without their paychecks. Across the country, airports are setting up food pantries, banks are offering interest-free loans and schools are hosting job fairs in an effort to pitch in. Amna Nawaz reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    As we heard earlier, many federal workers are nearing a boiling point as this government shutdown drags on.

    There are many efforts around the country to provide help and some relief to workers, too many to count and show here.

    But Amna Nawaz gives us a sampling of what's being done.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Judy, pop-up food pantries set up across the U.S. are distributing free meals to federal employees going without a paycheck. In a number of airports around the country, airlines and executives have set up food banks to help TSA workers on the job.

  • Tanya Allen:

    They have children at home, and we offer them food vouchers at work, but my heart just went out to the families.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    In Connecticut, nonprofit groups are feeding nearly 160 employees at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, who've also had to go without their paychecks.

  • Troy Castineira:

    A lot of people have lost faith in humanity, but, you know, this right here, you know, goes to show you that we are appreciated and there are people to help.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    There are some banks from Oklahoma to Colorado now helping customers who are feeling the pressure of their bills. That's included everything from essentially covering their paychecks for now, to providing interest-free loans, so people can then pay their rent or mortgages.

    Philadelphia's mayor is one of many city leaders offering flexibility in bill payments, delaying enforcement actions, including water shutoffs and eviction.

    Back here in the capital, the D.C. Diaper Bank is distributing 100 diapers per baby and other products to Coast Guard families. And school districts across Maryland, D.C. and Virginia are holding job fairs, targeting furloughed federal workers. Hundreds are now waiting in line to hand out their resumes.

  • Jonathan Root:

    Like many others, it's causing cash flow problems and anxieties and stress along with that, and meeting various obligations is difficult. I have a daughter in college. And one of the concerns is paying the tuition for the rest of her semester.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Plus, a different source of relief: free beer. A group called Pay It Furloughed has set up a Web site to allow workers to grab a cold one at capital breweries.

    For all of these efforts, many workers are expected to miss a second paycheck on Friday, and some will soon be faced with the decision of whether or not to file for unemployment.

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