Yesterday, the President joined furloughed government workers volunteering at Martha’s Table in northwest D.C. despite the government shutdown. Martha’s Table is a community based non-profit organization in Northwest DC.
According to DCist.com
During a 45-minute visit to Martha’s Table, President Obama volunteered alongside furloughed workers and students from Sidwell Friends (where his daughters attend) at the D.C. nonprofit, which offers a variety of programs to low-income Washingtonians including grocery and food delivery.
Wearing a green apron, Obama helped prepare sandwiches and yogurt-fruit cups, (“Can I just say just in the few moments I’ve been here I’m feeling a little sticky?”) and discussed the shutdown, which is now in week three.
“This week if we don’t start making some real progress, both in the House and the Senate and if Republicans aren’t willing to set aside their partisan concerns in order to do what’s right for the country, we stand a good chance of defaulting and defaulting could have a potentially have a devastating effect on our economy,” Obama said, according to a White House pool report. “This whole shutdown has been completely unnecessary.”
Kimberly Lyons, assistant director of communications and special events for Martha’s, said that furloughed employees, some of who regularly volunteer, have been coming in during the day more often while they’re not able to go to work. The president’s office reached out to Martha’s to scheduled a visit, which was his third to the nonprofit.
Lyons said they haven’t seen “a huge increase in need over the past couple of weeks,” but have seen “a lot of furloughed workers reach out to us to help.” But as the month progresses, Lyons said, Martha’s does expect to see an increase in calls for help, as paychecks stop coming in. “It’s possible that some government workers may need some additional assistance, so certainly we’re here for them and open for business,” regardless if they have a referral, Lyons said. “We’ll give them the emergency assistance they need.”
Martha’s Table is looking for financial donations, rather than food as they can buy it at wholesale prices. But they are also accepting cereal, rice, tuna and fresh fruit. Lyons said they’re also asking “people to spread the word” on social media that Martha’s Table is open to anybody who needs assistance.
Watch full video HERE.