Photo courtesy of Commonpoint Queens
Commonpoint Queens to provide furloughed federal employees with food and direct assistance

One Queens organization is helping furloughed federal workers during the government shutdown.

Commonpoint Queens, with satellite programs in Little Neck, Forest Hills and Bayside, announced that they would be providing emergency food and monetary assistance for furloughed Federal Government employees. The money will go toward “immediate expenses” like rent and child care.

According to their website, the social services organization’s mission is to dedicate, enhance and sustain “the quality of individual, family and communal life throughout Queens, through services to people of all ages, ability levels, stages of life and backgrounds.”

Jared Mintz, the organization’s director of communications said that food and money come from private donations and listed how donations would go toward helping furloughed workers and their families.

  • $36 feeds a single person
  • $72 feeds a family of 4
  • $100 is the average ConEd bill for 1 month
  • $800 is the average cost for 1 month of childcare (6-12 years old)
  • $1696 is the average rent for a 1 bedroom apartment in Queens

“This week we’ve received calls from 25 government workers, mostly from TSA — most of whom work at JFK,” Mintz said. “We’ve been able to help five workers pay bills, we’ve enrolled three in our digital food pantry and we’ve referred three to our single parent initiative which provides counseling for parents, academic support for children and socialization opportunities.”

President Trump announced the partial government shutdown on Dec. 22 after the president and House Democrats reached an impasse over funding for the $5.7 billion border wall. More than 800,000 federal government employees in nine departments and several federal agencies have been affected.

Those employees who are deemed “essential” have been required to work without pay while other employees are furloughed.

According to Commonpoint, “anyone with need” is eligible to receive food and monetary aid from the organization, which just experienced a merger last December.

“If a government worker needs help they can reach out for immediate food assistance and possible cash assistance by calling us at 718-268-5011 ext. 101,” said Mintz.

He added that Commonpoint can only accept bulls that are a month late. For inquiries they cannot accommodate with cash assistance, the organization will refer the individual for financial counseling.

For additional information visit their website at commonpointqueens.org.

Story updated on Friday, Jan. 25 at 1:35 p.m. 

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