Photo courtesy of Weprin's offce
Assembly Member David I. Weprin stands with Morris Brown A.M. E. Church Helping Hand food pantry Program Director, Ruth Roseborough, American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC) member Ali Rashid, and other members of the Church and APPAC.

Assemblyman David Weprin joined the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee on Friday afternoon at a Jamaica food pantry donating items to furloughed federal employees affected by the 35-day government shutdown.

Weprin along with members of the American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee were able to collect and prepare about 100 bags donated on Jan. 25 to the Morris Brown A.M.E. Church Helping Hand food pantry, which has been operating in the Jamaica community since the mid-1990s offering food assistance through its food pantry and soup kitchen.

The pantry — located at 145-03 Rockaway Blvd. — serves 400 people a week and accepts donations and volunteers.

Nearly 800,000 federal workers affected by the government shutdown for 35 days — the longest in U.S. history — missed two paychecks, Weprin said. Many had to choose between paying their mortgage, paying for medical care and food. The shutdown finally ended late on Friday with the passage of a bill agreed upon by President Trump and congressional leaders to reopen the government for three weeks.

“Federal workers are providing important services that keep our government functional. If our own government won’t support its workers, we as a community must step up,” Weprin said on Friday, hours before the shutdown ended. “I hope that this small donation will be able to help those who are suffering under this callous shutdown.”  

The American Pakistani Public Affairs Committee (APPAC) is a nationwide group dedicated to empowering the Pakistani American community and promoting better relations between the U.S. and Pakistan.

The organization, is among many others in the Queens community that have stepped up to the plate offering assistance to federal furloughed employees to provide for their families.

“New York City is the world’s melting pot, where all cultures come together and coalesce. It gives us a grander perspective of life and more importantly what it means to be human,” said Rashid. “We recognize our responsibility to be good neighbors to each other and that means offering our assistance without hesitation whenever necessary. The American Pakistani Community has stepped up to the plate to lend their support during a tumultuous time. It is something that we as New Yorkers should be immensely proud of.”

The threat of another shutdown, however, looms if the president and Congressional leaders can’t agree upon legislation by Feb. 14 to fund the government and keep it running.

Robert Pozarycki contributed to this report.

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