NEW LONDON, CT (WFSB) - The partial government shutdown is wrapping up day number 33.

Meanwhile, another missed paycheck looms for hundreds of thousands of federal workers.

People all across the state are stepping up to help.

There are many resources in place.

At the U.S. Coast Guard Academy the Chief Petty Officer’s Association has a pop-up pantry and gift coupons to help families get through the shutdown.

The pop-up pantry will stay open daily until 8 p.m. at least through the weekend. 

Rashad Lockhart was picking up some basic food items to get him through the government shutdown. 

He's a Coast Guardsman stationed in Port New London. 

"Lot of support, people coming up and showing support, and just helping us get by," said Lockhart. 

The Coast Guard's Top Admiral, Karl Schultz spoke up on social media saying members of the armed forces shouldn't be expected to shoulder the burden of the partial government shutdown. 

"Ultimately, I find it acceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members," said Schultz. 

Kate Batchelder is holding down the family while her Coast Guard husband is commanding the Coast Guard Buoy Tender Juniper out of Newport.

She says it’s been stressful, yet the food pantries at the Coast Guard offers help.

“Any groceries are appreciated. So that all the other dollars can go towards paying bills that we don’t have that money for,” said Batchelder.

To help furloughed federal employees and Coast Guard families struggling to pay their utility bill, Norwich Public Utilities is waving any late payment penalties.

“If they’re going to be late paying their bill we’re not going to penalize them for that. We’re not going to forgive their bills, but we want to make sure than can do what they can when they can as this shutdown continues,” said Chris Riley, Norwich Public Utilities.

This week, a local auto group donated $30,000 dollars while the Retired U.S. Coast Guard Alumni Association donated $25,000 to help families not getting a federal paycheck put gas in the tank or pay out of pocket medical bills.

Meanwhile to help forget the stress of the lack of a paycheck, Mystic Seaport is providing free admission to furloughed federal workers and others not getting a check.

With three young ones to take care of, Batchelder is moving forward.

“Got to hold strong, keep our heads held high,” said Batchelder.

There’s a growing list of Connecticut banks participating in the loan program for federal employees impacted by the shutdown.

The Gemma Moran Food Bank in New London supplies food to 74 pantries in eastern Connecticut as well as 10 mobile pantries. 

"At this point, we're hearing anecdotally that numbers are up," said Dina Sears-Graves, food bank manager. 

From throughout Connecticut, the Sikh community is doing their part to help, by collecting and donating food and supplies. 

"We thought this is a really need because food, everybody needs it and people are tight. Nobody has money because of the shutdown," said Manmohan Singh, Sikh community. 

As the government shutdown continues we will keep you updated on the latest offers and assistance for federal employees in Connecticut.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Digital Content Producer

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