SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Mineta San Jose International Airport and Second Harvest Food Bank on Wednesday set up donations of food and supplies to support federal workers impacted by the government shutdown.
The city estimates about 500 of its residents work at the airport with such agencies as the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and have been furloughed during the one month-long shutdown.
Assistant director of aviation for the airport, Judy Ross, said the federal workers have maintained the safe operation of the airport despite the shutdown that began Dec. 22 during peak travel season.
“It’s important that we collaborate with Second Harvest Food Bank and other community partners and demonstrate how much we care about our fellow employees, so they can feed their families during this difficult period,” Ross said in a statement.
At the airport Wednesday between noon and 3 p.m., about 150 staff members gathered items from boxes of produce, non-perishable foods and toiletries donated by airport staff.
The San Jose City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday to vote on emergency interest-free loans for federal airport workers.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has said the proposal is an effort to address workers’ needs while keeping the airport in operation. Absences have jumped from 3 percent to 14 percent during the shutdown, and 48 percent of the airport’s employees are San Jose residents.
The meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, and Councilmembers will also discuss a proposal for a 90-day moratorium on rent for residents impacted by a lack of federal funding and salaries.
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