ELIZABETH, NJ - Union County has developed an online assistance guide for Federal employees who are experiencing hardship due to the prolonged government shutdown, which has now entered its 29th day.

There are approximately 460 Federal employees who live throughout Union County, according to the most recent information available from the Census Bureau.

The guide, which can accessed by visiting ucnj.org/federal-shutdown, contains location information on:

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  • Food pantries
  • Soup kitchens
  • Diaper bank sites
  • County drop-off box locations for those wishing to donate diapers, and feminine hygiene products
  • SNAP information
  • A donation link to the Community Foodbank of New Jersey
  • A list of nationally-known businesses offering federal workers relief, including free meals, restaurant discounts to deferring payments and zero-interest loans.

“Federal employees and their families need our help, and the County of Union and our residents are prepared,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski.  “We will continue to update our webpage and social media as more information becomes available on how to assist these employees.”

Kowalski added: “At this time, we are finding the greatest issue to be food insecurity.  We are also encouraging County residents who are able to make monetary donations to consider donating to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, which is the agency that provides food to the pantries and soup kitchens listed. Financial donations are preferable to food collections because the food bank is able to leverage monetary donations to make the dollars go much farther. We have been made aware that diapers and feminine hygiene products are also in short supply.”

The County will be collecting feminine hygiene products and diapers for distribution through the Community Food Bank of New Jersey at the following County government locations:

  • Union County Administration Building Lobby - 10 Elizabethtown Plaza, Elizabeth
  • Union County Social Services Buildings - 342 Westminster Avenue, Elizabeth, or 200 West 2nd Street, Plainfield
  • Froehlich Public Safety Building - 400 North Avenue East, Westfield
  • Engineering & Public Works Building - 2325 South Avenue, Scotch Plains

Offices are open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Residents who receive assistance through the SNAP Food Assistance program received allocations for January and February earlier this week. Recipients are urged to budget their funds as the dollars credited to the cards must hold them over for two months rather than one, as is the norm. Federal employees not receiving SNAP, and who need the assistance can visit the web link on how to apply for benefits during the shutdown.