LOUDOUN COUNTY - The Loudoun County government is taking steps to assist federal workers whose finances have been negatively affected by the federal government shutdown. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has approved financial aid to local food pantries and a temporary fee waiver for federal workers who ride Loudoun County Transit buses.
Wednesday evening, the Board approved the allocation of up to $25,000 to Loudoun Hunger Relief and the Dulles South Food Pantry to help the organizations meet any increase in requests for food assistance caused by the federal government shutdown.
The Board also temporarily waived Loudoun County Transit fares for federal government employees who are not receiving paychecks and who present a federal agency work identification when boarding a bus. The free bus rides for federal workers will begin Monday, January 14, 2019, and continue for the duration of the current federal government shutdown or until ended by the Board.
“If we can help defray the cost of food for a Loudoun County resident impacted by the federal government shutdown, perhaps they can focus on paying their mortgage or rent,” said Board Chair Phyllis J. Randall at a news conference held Friday to announce the aid. “For those federal workers who are deemed essential and wish to take Loudoun County Transit buses to work, we can help defray the cost of gas and tolls.”
Board Vice Chairman and Ashburn District Supervisor Ralph M. Buona pointed out that a large number of Loudoun residents are federal government employees or contractors, including many of his neighbors in Ashburn, who are experiencing financial hardship because of the shutdown. “Putting food on the table is tough without a paycheck,” Buona said. “It takes a village to fix the problem. It takes government, for-profit industry, utility companies, and the nonprofit community. Also, our citizens need to step up and donate to the nonprofit community, especially food pantries.”
Also at the news conference were representatives of Loudoun County Public Schools, local food banks, utilities and the business community, who discussed the ways they are planning to assist the estimated 15,000 to 20,000 federal workers who live in Loudoun.
Randall said the Board would continue to explore the various ways the county and its community partners “can ease the financial pain of federal government employees who are impacted by the shutdown.”