KCATA announces end of free fares for furloughed workers

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority has announced it will end free fares for furloughed federal government workers on Feb. 15.

Federal workers were furloughed without pay from Dec. 22 to Jan. 25, and received back pay after the furlough ended. While federal workers will receive back pay, some of them had a need for services until they received their back pay.

The program of free fares for furloughed workers started on Jan. 14. The federal workers went back to work two weeks ago, but the three-week temporary deal for the workers to go back to work ends on Feb. 15. There was hope from some this week that another shutdown might be avoided.

“The shutdown is over and we were waiting to confirm that they got their paychecks,” said KCATA spokeswoman Petrina Parker.

If there is another shutdown, KCATA will “cross that bridge when we get there,” reevaluate the program at that time and make a decision, Parker said.

According to KCATA, about 1,300 free rides were taken by furloughed government employees who were affected by the shutdown.

Harvesters food distribution canceled tonight because of cold weather

A Harvesters and GEHA food distribution scheduled tonight for persons affected by the federal government shutdown has been canceled because of the extreme cold weather, according to an announcement.

The distribution that was canceled was scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the Pipefitters Local Union 533, 8600 Hillcrest Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

Other food distributions assisted by Harvesters and GEHA are scheduled:

• Thursday, January 31 – IBEW Local Union 304, 3906 NW 16th St.., Topeka, KS 66618, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Friday, Feb. 1 – Heartland Community Church, 12175 S. Strangline Road, Olathe, Kansas, 66062, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Feb. 2 – Harvesters facility, 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, Missouri, 64129, from 9 a.m. to noon


Signs will be posted to direct individuals to the distribution location.

In addition to these new food distributions, Harvesters’ network will continue to offer its regularly scheduled food distributions across its service area. Dates and locations for these distributions can be found through the Agency Locator on Harvesters’ website: https://www.harvesters.org/get-help


There are no requirements to receive help at these sites.

Individuals wishing to help Harvesters provide enough food to meet the increased demand, can donate food or money. Every dollar donated through Harvesters’ website helps the organization provide three meals. In addition, nonperishable food items can be donated in Harvesters’ barrels at Price Chopper and Hy-Vee stores in the Kansas City area, at Dillons stores in Topeka and Lawrence, and the Hy-Vee in Topeka. Donations also can be dropped off at Harvesters’ facilities in Kansas City and Topeka.

Harvesters providing extra food distributions because of government shutdown

Harvesters – The Community Food Network is providing food distributions for individuals affected by the federal government shutdown.

Kansas City based GEHA (a nationwide provider of medical and dental plans for federal employees), is sponsoring these extra distributions.

According to a Harvesters spokesperson, even though an end to the federal shutdown was announced today, they are continuing with plans for food distributions because they are anticipating that some employees will still need help for a while.

Additional food distributions will begin Tuesday, Jan. 29, and will continue each week as long as the need for emergency food assistance exists for these individuals. The distributions will be held:
• Tuesday, Jan. 29 – Surface parking lot between 19th and 20th off Grand Street, Kansas City, Mo., 64108, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, Jan. 30 – Pipefitters Local Union 533, at 8600 Hillcrest Road, Kansas City, Mo. 64138, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Thursday, Jan. 31 – IBEW Local Union 304, at 3906 NW 16th St., Topeka, Kansas, 66618, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Friday, Feb. 1 – Heartland Community Church, 12175 S. Strangline Road, Olathe, Kansas, 66062, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
• Saturday, Feb. 2 – Harvesters facility, 3801 Topping Ave., Kansas City, Mo., 64129, from 9 a.m. to noon.


Signs will be posted to direct individuals to the distribution location.

In addition to these new food distributions, Harvesters’ network will continue to offer its regularly scheduled food distributions across its service area. Dates and locations for these distributions can be found through the agency locator on Harvesters’ website: https://www.harvesters.org/get-help. There are no requirements to receive help at these sites.

Harvesters’ network of food pantries is ready to provide assistance and many are expanding their assistance guidelines in order to accommodate requests from those affected by the government shutdown. These locations also are available through the agency locator on Harvesters’ website.

Individuals wishing to help Harvesters provide enough food to meet the increased demand, can donate food or money. Every dollar donated through Harvesters’ website helps the organization provide three meals. In addition, nonperishable food items can be donated in Harvesters’ barrels at Price Chopper and Hy-Vee stores in the Kansas City area, at Dillons stores in Topeka and Lawrence, and the Hy-Vee in Topeka. Donations also can be dropped off at Harvesters’ facilities in Kansas City and Topeka.

Harvesters will also likely need additional volunteers to help meet the increased demand. Volunteers can sign up to volunteer on Harvesters’ website.

To stay informed on food distributions, ways to donate food, and the effect on the federal nutrition programs due to the government shutdown, visit Harvesters’ website at https://www.harvesters.org/Government-Shutdown.