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Mobile food bank relieves government employees and families following shutdown

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 23:31:39-05

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — At least 50 households came to Chandler View Elementary in Bellevue seeking assistance when it comes to putting food on the table following the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Early Monday night, Foodbank for the Heartland teamed up with Lutheran Family Services to bring in reinforcements. Employees and volunteers set out boxes of goods from grains to fruits for those who may be reaching out for help for the first time. And it was all free.

"I was hesitant to come here today because I've never been in the position to be in need," TSA employee Kelsey Sutton said.

Sutton has been a government employee with TSA for seven years. She's turning to the free mobile food bank to help feed her family, which includes two daughters.

Her husband Christian has job at an auto body shop that's been keeping the Sutton's afloat since December 22.

"In times like this, you have to swallow your pride," Sutton said. "I have two little ones at home, so I was thinking about my daughters and family."

Foodbank for the Heartland drives its mobile pantry across Nebraska and western Iowa about 40 times a month. This is the first time it's pairing up with Lutheran Family Services, which is even helping with needs other than food.

After at least 50 households signed in to receive assistance, there was still plenty of food for the taking. Kelsey couldn't believe how much food she took home Monday night.

"Looking back, I'll say it was a stressful time, but I was able to get through," Kelsey said. "I wasn't going to let it define me or stop me. I was going to push through."