ASTORIA, Ore. — More than 80,000 members of the U.S. Coast Guard will not get paid on Tuesday as the partial government shutdown continues.
Jennifer Siems' husband is stationed in Astoria and like many, her family relies on that income.
"I have two boys. My main goal is to make sure they're provided for and they have everything they need. Not knowing when you're going to get paid makes that probably one of your worst moments as a parent," said Siems.
Amanda Gibbs is in the same boat.
"What people don't realize is one paycheck is huge. That is a huge thing for us. That's not something we can get over. A lot of members live paycheck to paycheck," she said.
The U.S. Coast Guard is the only branch of the military unfunded during the shutdown. It's the first time for many to experience not getting that paycheck.
"We have lower enlisted members of our coast guard that are able to come to the food pantry. They're struggling because they don't have enough time in service to have that emergency fund set up to pull from during a time like this," Stacey Benson, a Coast Guard wife, said.
To help out in any way she could, Benson started a food pantry. She's hoping to fill bins placed in multiple locations around the Astoria area with food and hygiene products.
She's calling it "Be the Light".
"I'm trying to be the light and in the dark place right now with our community. I want to project that positivity and I want to help as many of our community members as I can. If I can do that by organizing that food pantry and just help one family, then my heart's full."
For a full list of what's needed and where to drop them off, click here.
The food pantry opens Saturday and Sunday at the Masonic Lodge in Astoria. It's open to all Coast Guard members, retired Coast Guard members and federal workers affected by the shutdown.