The nonprofit Northern Virginia Family Service has seen a 10 percent increase in the number of requests for food assistance since Jan. 1 due to the federal government shutdown that began Dec. 22.
To help the nonprofit provide housing, food and more resources, the United Way of the National Capital Area announced on Thursday grant funding for the organization to assist people struggling to pay expenses due to the partial federal government shutdown. The amount of grant funding was not immediately available.
The NVFS will provide more information on its website as early as Friday, but qualifying for assistance may include providing a bank statement and is intended to be “low barrier,” said Stephanie Berkowitz, the nonprofit’s president and CEO.
Those who can receive assistance include federal government employees, contractors and others who have been affected, including hotel and restaurant workers and Uber and Lyft drivers, Berkowitz said.
The nonprofit serves about 35,000 people a year providing housing and food assistance, early childhood development, mental health, workforce development and more.
About 6,000 volunteers help provide food to 8,000 people per year, Berkowitz said. The nonprofit’s Hunger Resource Center is located in Manassas.
The nonprofit serves Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria. The average housing assistance provided is $1,500, which can help cover expenses including rent, security deposits and utilities, Berkowitz said.
Some 800,000 federal employees have been affected by the shutdown. That number includes 420,000 people who are working without pay and another 380,000 who are furloughed, meaning they have temporary and required time off without pay. Historically, Congress approves back pay for federal employees after shutdowns are over.