A few hours after the Alameda County Board of Supervisors posted an agenda last Friday including an item to allocate an additional $1 million in funding for the local community food bank to help struggling federal employees, President Trump agreed to sign a bill ending the grueling 35-day government shutdown.
Would the allocation, intended to bring a modicum of food security to federal workers in Alameda County, still be made? Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, said yes on Tuesday.
The board’s proposal, approved Tuesday, pledges $1 million in emergency funding from the county’s Safety Net Fund. The expenditure is spread out over one year.
“It’s not so much that the furlough is over,” said Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who along with Chan sponsored the agenda item. “They’re going back to work, but the bigger problem is they are so far behind on their bills. They still need help with their bills and that’s where I think we can step in.”
Despite the end of the shutdown, a 45-day lag still exists before some will receive paychecks, Chan said, during Tuesday morning’s board meeting.
In addition, those who receive subsidies for food were given without warning two months-worth of benefits on their debit cards. “They may have spent them all in advance because they didn’t realize that their last card included January and February,” said Chan.
Government workers, however, are also not totally out of the woods. Trump could still decide to resume the shutdown on Feb. 15 if no deal is made that includes funding for a wall on the southern border.