BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Following President Trump’s announcement on Friday to reopen the government- the National Park Service said it was working to reopen all of its parks as quickly as possible, including Baltimore’s own Fort McHenry.
The shutdown affected thousands of pockets of federal workers and although there is a sense of relief following the announcement to reopen, furloughed families are still feeling the effects.
Park rangers reopened local landmarks including Fort McHenry on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. for visitors brave enough to take on winter weather.
But some people, like Richard Kronner and his wife Mary, are approaching the shutdown cautiously.
“This is the second Sunday we’re doing a food relief for people who are in need of food for government workers who are temporarily laid off,” Richard Kronner said.
Mary Kronner said she came up with the idea on her own after hearing stories of families struggling to put food on the table.
“My heart was just being touched to do this for the government people I mean it took me hours to sit down and call my pastor so that he would give me the ok,” Mary said.
Sunday at the Calvary Chapel, with the help of volunteers, they handed out bags full of groceries to more than 42 furloughed workers who still have not received a paycheck and are worried in three weeks they’ll be back in the same position.
“They’re now in the same boat as a lot of regular people who come to the food distribution- they’re unemployed they have bills to pay they have families to feed, it’s important, they’re going through a rough time,” Richard said.
Also pitching in with relief, the Maryland Department of Transportation announced they are extending free transit for all government workers feeling the pinch.
Loyola University in Maryland also invited government workers and their families to McGuire Hall for mass and free brunch.
“We just don’t have a real sense of what it’s like to worry about whether you’re going to be able to maintain a roof over your head, pay mortgage, pay dentist bills,” A pastor at the church said.
President Trump says February 15 is the deadline for Congress to approve another continuing resolution to fund the government, and the Kronners say they are ready to start over with donations for those who might need it.
“If the occasion rises we will be doing it in the future,” Richard said.
The Calvary Chapel said they are still accepting donations like dry goods or canned food from anyone who wants to help out.
By Kelsey Kuschner