UNION COUNTY, NJ --Union County  today announced an online assistance guide for Federal employees who are experiencing hardship due to the prolonged government shutdown.

The guide can be accessed at www.ucnj.org/federal-shutdown/  and contains location information on:

  • food pantries, soup kitchens and diaper bank sites
  • 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; and
  • 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.”

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

“At this time, we are finding the greatest issue to be food insecurity," Kowalski added. "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.”

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

  • Union County Administration Building Lobby- 10 Elizabethtown Plaza, Elizabeth
  • Union County Socials Services Building (342 Westminster Ave., Elizabeth)
  • Union County Socials Services Building (200 West 2nd St., Plainfield)
  • Froehlich Public Safety Building (400 North Ave., East, Westfield)
  • Engineering & Public Works Building (2325 South Ave., 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.