Chris Whitney keeps emergency food boxes at all times at the warehouse for his nonprofit One Generation Away which serves people in need and areas devastated by natural disasters.
“Right now, we have about 100 of these prepared already so they’re ready to go out right away,” said Whitney, founder and executive director of One Generation Away.
But, for the past few days, boxes have been going fast, helping people get through what he says is a different kind of disaster. Furloughed workers who haven’t been paid because of the government shutdown are reaching out for help.
“We’re starting to see the calls uptick drastically,” Whitney said. “Not everybody has a savings account.”
He says many of the workers affected are having to choose between paying bills and buying food.
“I’ve got utilities,” he said. “I’ve got rent. I may have a car payment. Where does food fall into that?”
Last week, he put out messages on social media, offering help to those affected by the government shutdown. Since the announcement was made, the nonprofit has already given away about 30 to 40 boxes to furloughed workers.
Whitney says if the shutdown doesn’t end soon, that number will only go up.
“People’s lives are in the balance on this one,” Whitney said. “I want to make sure this somehow this gets settled. But, in the meantime, we’re here to feed them.”
With no end to the shutdown in sight, Whitney says he’ll do whatever he can for as long as he can.
“Every little bit helps,” Whitney said.
For more on how to get help or how to donate, click here or call 615-538-7413.