Federal workers seek aid as they miss 2nd paycheck, pizzeria helps out

Posted: Updated:
HAUPPAUGE -

Despite Friday's deal to reopen the federal government, impacted workers won't be getting paid immediately, forcing some Long Islanders to make hard choices.

More than 100 federal workers on Long Island went to the Island Harvest food distribution center in Hauppauge to pick up groceries. They've now missed two paychecks.

FAA worker Denice Dublin says she never thought she'd have to visit a food bank.

"This is a situation that we definitely did not anticipate," she said. "So just being able to have supplemental food, it takes the edge off of the situation."

Over in Ronkonkoma, Gino's Pizzeria is sending a few hundred slices to TSA and FAA workers at MacArthur Airport.

"The least we could do is feed them," said Paul Saccoccio.

Pizzeria patrons also pitched in, paying for pies and writing personalized messages to the federal workers on the receiving end.

Islip and Suffolk officials were at MacArthur Friday, delivering lunch to unpaid employees.

And even though a tentative agreement has been reached to end the shutdown, Island Harvest CEO Randi Shubin Dresner says federal workers will still need support.

"They need some time to get themselves back on their feet," she said. "We're going to be here."

Island Harvest's doors will be open again to federal workers next week.

The pizzas are scheduled to go out to MacArthur on Monday.

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