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Counting the Days: The Coastguard’s Shutdown Pantry in Photos

Nonprofit organizations dedicated to supporting Coast Guard officers opened a makeshift food pantry at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, during the government shutdown. Filled with light from a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the Thames River, Leamy Hallthe Academy’s “morale, well-being, and recreation” spacewas crowded with rows of folding tables converted into supermarket aisles. The pantry welcomed all employees of the unfunded Department of Homeland Security, supplying them with donated groceries, gift cards, and cash.

On December 22, 2018, President Donald Trump and lawmakers in Congress failed to agree on an appropriations bill to fund the federal government for the 2019 fiscal year, initiating the third government shutdown of Trump’s term. Government employees deemed “nonessential” were furloughed, while essential employees, including members of the Coast Guard, were required to work without pay. During the shutdown, Coast Guard officers missed two paychecks each.

On January 25, 2019, Trump signed a bill to fund the government for three weeks. After 35 days, he ended the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, promising that federal employees would receive back pay “very quickly, or as soon as possible.”

Photo 1: Child learns to shake hands, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut

Photo 2: Hygiene products, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut

Photo 3: Tiger and her support dog, Duke, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut

Photo 4: Officer stacks cans, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut

Photo 5: Officer poses beside cereal, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut

Photo 6: Officer pushes cart, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut

Photo 7: Items in cart at food pantry, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut

Photo 8: Officer loads items into cart, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Connecticut