By Cleve Bryan


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CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) – As the partial federal government continues, the South Jersey community is stepping up to help military families.

The Jersey Cape Military Spouses Club has set up a food pantry at the U.S. Coast Guard training facility in Cape May thanks to an outpouring of donations.

“It started with Seaville Fire Rescue, the American Legion and the VFW and it kind of exploded,” explains Jessica Manfre who is coordinating donation collection for the Spouses Club.

About a thousand active duty and civilian employees work out of the training facility and tenant commands in Cape May.

Many families live pay check to pay check and don’t expect to receive their next checks on Jan. 15.

Unlike other branches of the military, the Coast Guard falls under the Department of Homeland Security which is not fully funded during the budget shutdown.

The active duty members of the Coast Guard must still perform core missions of security, search and rescue and environmental enforcement even without pay. Most civilian employees are furloughed and were told not to report to work.

Some restaurants such as the C-View in Cape May and the Iron Room in Atlantic City are offering free or discounted meals to the Coast Guard.

Anyone who would like to contribute can contact the JCMSC at https://www.jcmilitaryspousesclub.org/

The USO of Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey is also accepting money and gift cards to assist military families https://libertyuso.org/