Federal employees who haven’t received their paychecks since the government shutdown began on December 22 are looking for help when it comes to putting food on their table and feeding their families. 

The Laguna Food Pantry, which serves local residents as well as surrounding community members, issued a priority alert to federal employees and families facing financial hardships during the government shutdown on its social media pages. 

“This is a big sacrifice for those who are part of the shutdown. They need a backup and our pantry wants to be a part of the organization that takes a step forward and says, 'Come on. We’re going to help you,'” said Rebecca Washington Lindsey, a volunteer at Laguna Food Pantry. 

The nonprofit and its volunteers help more than 400 families a week. In recent weeks, volunteers have been receiving more phone calls for help from federal workers. 

“We don’t close our doors. We don’t shut anybody out,” said Washington Lindsey. 

The pantry provides fresh produce, meat, packaged foods and even dessert for shoppers every weekday morning from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. Shoppers are allowed one visit per week. According to Anne Belyea, the nonprofit’s executive director, Laguna Food Pantry provides relief to about 80 to 100 people every day. 

The Laguna Food Pantry is located on 20652 Laguna Canyon Road, Unit B, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.