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Government Shutdown: Community Resource Guide

As the government shutdown continues, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh realizes that many of our neighbors are experiencing higher than normal need. Our librarians have compiled a list of resources for furloughed and unpaid workers, as well as our customers who rely on government benefits.

Food Assistance Resources

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Due to the partial federal government shutdown, the US Department of Agriculture has told states to issue SNAP benefits for February by January 18, 2019. If you currently receive SNAP benefits, your February payment will be added to your EBT card on January 18.

East End Cooperative Ministry (EECM) 6140 Station St | Pittsburgh | 15206 (412) 345-7149

  • The Food Pantry is a program for those in immediate need of food. In addition to providing emergency groceries and supplies, we also offer information on assistance programs, and access to social service agencies and other appropriate programs. The Food Pantry is located at Community House and clients can enter through the single-door marked Food Pantry, Entrance on Harvard Street. Monday through Friday, 9:30 am. -11:30 am & 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Closed weekends and holidays.
  • The Community Kitchen serves hot lunches every Monday through Friday, from 12:15 pm to 1:15 pm. This community meal is provided free of charge to all who are in need, although donations are welcomed. The Community Kitchen is located at Community House and diners can enter through the double-doors marked Community Connections, Entrance G next to the parking lot.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank 1 North Linden St | Duquesne | 15110 (412) 460-3663

  • Emergency food is available for all in need. Food bank hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The first distribution to Federal Employees (TSA and Air Traffic Control) at Pittsburgh International Airport is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22 at 1 p.m. This distribution will be emergency food boxes, fresh produce and household items. Airport ID will be required for distribution.

Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) (412) 422-7200 Ext. 3738 JFCS offers nutritious, fresh food on a scheduled basis for those who meet income requirements in the 15217 zip code, as well as providing kosher food for those who keep kosher homes outside of 15217.

Just Harvest 16 Terminal Way | Pittsburgh | 15219 (412) 431-8960 Ext. 602 SNAP/Food stamps help line. Pennsylvania WIC (Women, Infants, Children) (412) 350-5801 WIC provides free nutrition information, healthy foods, breastfeeding support and referrals to eligible pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children under age 5. Who Qualifies:

  • Pregnant women
  • Breastfeeding women or bottle-feeding women who recently had a baby
  • Infants up to 1 year of age
  • Children up to 5 years of age

Peters Township Food Panty | Peace Lutheran Church 107 Carol Drive | Canonsburg | 15317 Affected families are encouraged to contact the food bank coordinator to set up a time for a confidential food pickup and should bring federal identification.

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania Dial 211 Information on food pantries, healthcare services, utility and eviction prevention assistance and more.

USDA Hunger Hotline en Español (877) 8-HAMBRE


Resources for Furloughed and Unpaid Workers

Banks and Credit Cards

Bank of America (844) 219-0690 Hardship programs. Better Mortgage (412) 523-8837 Shutdown relief emergency refinancing.

Chase (888) 356-0023 Hardship programs.

Discover (800) 347-2683 Skip payments, no interest or late fees.

Hebrew Free Loan Association 4307 Murray Avenue | Pittsburgh | 15217 (412) 422-8868 There are interest-free loans available to federal furloughed employees up to $2,500 through Hebrew Free Loan Association. To qualify, the government workers must live in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Washington or Westmoreland counties. All federal workers not being paid including those qualified as essential, non-essential, or contractors are eligible. The loans do not have to be repaid until the workers are reinstated and receiving paychecks.

M&T Bank (800) 724-2440 Defer payments or loans, will suppress communication so as not to adversely affect credit scores.

PNC Bank (888) PNC-BANK Waive monthly service fees

Wells Fargo No late fees on loans or overdrafts.

Utility Assistance

AT&T/DIRECTV Flexible payment options, waive late fees, provide extensions.

Columbia Gas (888) 460-4332 Assistance keeping utilities on.

Duquesne Light (412) 393-7100 Assistance keeping utilities on.

Peoples Gas (800) 764-0111 Assistance keeping utilities on.

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (412) 255-2423 Offering payment plans and waiving fees.

Sprint (866) 991-9390 Flexible payment options.

T-Mobile (800) T-MOBILE Flexible payment options.

Verizon (800) 922-0204 Flexible payment option.

Other Resources (844) 744-7846 This local company based in Robinson Township is offering jobs to furloughed government workers. They’re printing “Stronger Than Hate” T-shirts with the money raised going to the Tree of Life Synagogue Victim’s Fund. Federal workers with government ID can apply at Allegheny Coffee and Tea Exchange 2005 Penn Avenue |Pittsburgh | 15222 (412) 471-5557 Free coffee with government identification. Animal Friends 562 Camp Horne Road | Pittsburgh | 15237 (412) 847-7023 “Chow Wagon Pet Food Bank” Monday through Friday, 10 am – 3 am. City Books 908 Galveston Avenue | Pittsburgh | 15233 (412) 321-7323 Pay-what-you-can pricing up to $30 for government workers. The offer is good until regular pay cycles resume. Jim Shorkey Family Auto Group – North Hills 7670 McKnight Road | Pittsburgh |15237 (412) 226-8250 and Kia of Wexford 10785 Perry Highway | Wexford |15090 724-801-3020

  • If you feel in any way that your vehicle is not safe and cannot afford to currently pay for maintenance or repairs call Michael Engle (571) 435-0075.
  • If you would like to replace your vehicle, they can make arrangements for no money down and no payments for 90 days.
  • They will cover the cost of any needed oil change while you’re not getting a paycheck and they will give you a free car wash, too!
  • In addition, they would like to buy your family dinner. Stop by the North Hills or Kia of Wexford location for a gift card for groceries or a dinner out!

Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor 2801 Penn Ave | Pittsburgh | 15222 (412) 434-0451 On Sunday, January 27, show your SNAP card and get a “care package” consisting of one gallon of whole milk, one loaf of bread, a dozen eggs, and one pound of butter. Treat your family (maximum of four people) to free sundaes while you’re there. Call ahead to confirm availability. Living Well Chiropractic of Penn Hills 11616 Frankstown Road | Penn Hills |15235 (412) 727-6960 Free care until pay reinstated. Madeline Bakery and Bistro 609 S Trenton Ave | Pittsburgh | 15221 (412) 371-1010 Offering free loaf of bread and cup of coffee w ith Government ID on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra 600 Penn Ave | Pittsburgh | 15222 (412) 392-4819 Federal government workers eligible for two free concert tickets from now until 30 days after the end of the shutdown. Row House Cinema 4115 Butler Street | Pittsburgh | 15201 (412) 904-3225 Free movies. Senior Pet and Animal Rescue PO Box 99751 | Pittsburgh | 15233S They are welcoming furloughed workers to use their Ferdinand’s Fund to keep their pets healthy. SkyZone Federal government workers and their families (maximum of four people) are eligible for 60 minutes of free activity with a government ID through January 31. SouthSide Works Cinema 425 Cinema Drive | Pittsburgh |15203 (412) 381-1681 Will admit federal employees and up to three additional family members to see a film of their choice every Tuesday over the course of the shutdown. Seating is limited. Offer valid exclusively at the box office. Walnut Grill Multiple Locations Free salad, sandwich or flatbread pizza, plus a free beverage, to furloughed workers, as well as their spouses and children.

How you can help!

Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank 1 North Linden St | Duquesne | 15110 (412) 460-3663 Volunteers needed.

Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) Squirrel Hill Food Pantry 5743 Bartlett Street | Pittsburgh | 15217 (412) 422-7200 Call for food drives and collections. Just Harvest 16 Terminal Way | Pittsburgh | 15222 (412) 431-8960 Volunteers needed. SNAP Program Volunteers assist with scanning and faxing documents for clients; follow up with clients as they continue through the application process; and enter results data into a database. Just Harvest is seeking volunteers for weekday hours (9am – 6pm) who can commit to 3 hours each week. Training is provided on a one-on-one basis with each volunteer. My Goodness (412) 727-1657 1104 S Braddock Ave | Pittsburgh | 15218 This Regent Square cafe is accepting donations of meals online which will go to a meal bank for furloughed government workers with I.D.    

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