Unpaid FBI Employees Relying on Food Banks as Shutdown Enters 5th Week

Unpaid FBI Employees Relying on Food Banks as Shutdown Enters 5th Week

FBI offices around the country are setting up food banks to help agents and staff who are going unpaid during the government shutdown, CNN reports.

FBI field offices in Dallas, Washington, and Newark have set up or will set up food banks where employees can donate food items for other employees to pick up.

Two field offices on the west coast are also considering a number of ideas to help employees as the shutdown enters its fifth week, including setting up food banks.

"We're all in this together and we're banding together to help each other out in any way we can," Melinda Urbina, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Dallas field office, told CNN.

About 35,000 FBI employees are working without pay during the shutdown.

FBI employees seeking outside work:

Some FBI employees have been looking for work outside the government as the shutdown continues, although there are limits on the type of work the bureau’s employees are allowed to do.

“Justice Department component agencies have had a number of requests from employees, including law enforcement agents and officers, seeking guidance on outside employment,” law enforcement sources told CNN. “Another law enforcement official said that the number of requests for outside employment at one FBI field office has ‘significantly increased.’ All FBI employees must get approval through an established process before they engage in other work.”

Shutdown impacts investigations:

Law enforcement officials told CNN that FBI investigations “are being damaged as operational budgets dwindle.”

Tom O’Connor, the president of the FBI Agents Association, the largest union of active duty special agents, told CNN that “pay for informants and surveillance work as well as drug buys in trafficking operations are all endangered as resource shortages restrict the tools available to investigators.”