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The government shutdown is hitting Coast Guard and other military families hard, but thanks to generous volunteers at emergency pop-up food pantries, everyone is able to put dinner on the table for their loved ones.

It’s been 21 days since the government shutdown began, but those in the Coast Guard are still required to work — without pay. January 11 marked the first paycheck of the year for these men and women; however, none of them saw a dime of it. Amber Broadway’s husband is in the Coast Guard, and they have two teenage boys. She told reporters, “It’s scary.” And even though Amber and her family have been through multiple government shutdowns in the past 14 years, she never thought she’d have to rely on food pantries to get by.

“There’s a lot of talk of ‘Well, you’ll get paid.’ Or ‘It’ll come eventually,’” she continued. “And that’s OK. It will come eventually. And we will be very grateful when it does, but in the meantime, it’s scary, because my kids need to eat today. Not eventually.”

And thanks to the abundance of donations from volunteers in the Boston and Rhode Island areas, Amber, along with other Coast Guard spouses and families, are able to provide for their loved ones.

“It’ll be OK, it’ll be all right,” Amber said. “Because there’s no party lines when it gets to that. There’s no wrong side or right side of the aisle. It’s just encouraging one another to get through this day and the day after that and the day after that.”

If you would like to donate, head over to the GoFundMe page set up to help military families during the shutdown.

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