Anchorage church donates meals to unpaid TSA employees
As the partial government shutdown continues, some Transportation Security Administration employees currently going without pay are facing financial difficulties.
Two pastors from Anchorage believe days like these are reminders that every once in a while, we could all use a good meal.
They decided to go shopping. Caleb and Shayna Bialik filled their church's two 12-passenger vans to the max with grocery bags full of ingredients for a spaghetti dinner.
"Every bag will get a loaf of bread, dessert, two cans of vegetables, and a spaghetti sauce," Caleb Bialik explained.
On Tuesday morning, they headed to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, where TSA agents have been working for nearly a month without a paycheck.
"There are definitely some families that are short, but we are hoping through this to get some of the things to the families to start," the airport's fire and police chaplain, Marlan Schoenleben, said.
The Bialiks hope the 180 meals will find their way home with federal employees working to keep the skies safe and their families fed.
"Just because they have a job and they are going to get paid whenever the shutdown ends and they'll get all that back pay doesn't mean that they have money now," Shayna Bialik said. "Now is when they need food. Now is when they need help with the bills."
The Bialiks said each bag of food cost around $7 and AK Joy Church, formerly Joy Christian Center, also donated several boxes of other canned food items to the federal employees.
"This is all about sparking a larger conversation about the needs of our community and federal workers," Caleb Bialik said.
For those who might want to help, the Bialiks said donations can be made to AK Joy Church with a note specifying aid for federal employees.
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