The U.S. government recently ended the longest shutdown in history, and caused mayhem to government employees who live paycheck to paycheck. For 35 days, Washington had been at a standstill and non-essential government employees were left in the dark. All over the country, many government workers were unable to pay for rent, gas and other living expenses. Bozeman residents were not exempt from the effects of the shutdown.

On Thursday, Jan. 24, the Gallatin Valley Food Bank assisted in a food pop-up to support the local government employees in their time of need. The Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) helped organize the event to help the furloughed employees and families. In addition, a generous donation from Pheasant Farms, LLC. helped to assist the HRDC in purchasing food items to be donated. The HRDC also asked members of the community to donate food items and gift cards.

It is not known exactly how many residents in Bozeman were impacted by the shutdown. Laura Stonecipher, a spokesperson for the HRDC, said that HRDC “hasn’t seen a large impact at this time” and doesn’t have an idea on how many people were affected, but that they still want to be available for those needing assistance.

The residents of Bozeman seem to have done just fine throughout the shutdown, thanks to the efforts of local organizations and residents who care about the community. This isn’t the case in every town throughout the U.S., though. Many people are still struggling.

On Jan. 25, President Trump signed a bill allowing the government to reopen for three weeks. While this doesn’t solve the problem, it is a step towards returning normalcy to the lives of government employees. Under the bill, federal workers are scheduled to receive back pay for when they were furloughed by the “earliest date possible,” although when that will be remains unclear.

For those interested in giving back to their community and helping in situations such as this one, visit the HRDC website at thehrdc.org.