CAPE MAY, N.J. (CBS) — For the 800,000 federal workers who missed their second paycheck Friday, the end of the government shutdown was very welcome news. From Independence Hall to Philadelphia International Airport, frustration became desperation.
Approximately 45,000 federal workers in the Philadelphia region were forced to work without pay. Then, at the end of the Week 5, a deal was struck to reopen the government, but relief did not necessary follow.
“We did listen [to President Donald Trump’s announcement] but nobody really said anything. There was no cheering, there was none of that,” Jessica Manfre said.
Manfre’s husband serves in the Coast Guard, stationed in Cape May. While the family was without a paycheck themselves, Manfre devoted her time to a pop-up food pantry established on the base.
“It’s just been absolutely amazing,” she said. “People have been coming in left and right, not even just the people who have been reaching out to donate, but randomly showing up and gifting us this stuff.”
A week after that original interview, she now says donations will be scaled back since they are well stocked.
“I’m encouraging our members and if we are even going to get paid on time,” Manfre said.
Those two main concerns are on the minds of federal workers: Another potential shutdown if a permanent deal is not reached by the Feb. 15 deadline and when their promised back pay will turn up.
“We have to keep doing what we are doing because there is no telling,” Manfre said.
Manfre said that several Cape May restaurants that had offered free meals this weekend are sticking to that offer despite the government reopening, as a gesture of thanks for federal workers.