Kraft Foods Donates Groceries to Furloughed Workers

updated May 24, 2019
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For more than 30 days many government workers have been out of work due to the shutdown — now coming up on a second paycheck. In a country where many struggle to make it through a pay period, this makes for tough times and difficult decisions.

Around the country, companies are trying to find ways to help workers make it through without going hungry: Chef José Andrés has led the charge, opening a resource center for furloughed workers, feeding people around the country through his World Central Kitchen, and offering free meals at his own restaurants (a trend that many other restaurants have adopted). Now Kraft Foods, the company behind the famous blue box of macaroni and cheese and so many other iconic foods, has stepped up: The corporation opened a pop-up store last week to provide free food to government workers in Washington, D.C.

The stores, part of their program called “Kraft Now, Pay Later,” entitles any furloughed worker with a federal employee ID to stop into the Washington, D.C. store to fill up a bag of groceries for their family. The “pay later” portion of the program is that, in return, Kraft hopes that when paychecks start coming in, workers will pay it forward by donating to the charity of their choice.

With more than 800,000 workers currently not receiving paychecks around the country, plus the imminent lack of funding for programs like WIC, which feeds 53 percent of the infants in the U.S., the shutdown is about to meet an extremely hungry country. TSA workers — who are still having to show up for work despite not being paid — have collection bins at the airports for donations, and food banks around the country are under duress. Meanwhile, the next victim could be a major one: school lunch programs that feed 30 million kids around the country.