Hogan Launches #MDHelps to Assist Furloughed Workers

Governor Larry Hogan yesterday announced #MDHelps, a multi-agency state effort to support federal workers who have been affected by the ongoing partial government shutdown.

According to a press release:

“This federal government shutdown, the longest in the history of the United States, is impacting the security of our nation, the economy of the State of Maryland, and most importantly, the lives of tens of thousands of our Maryland citizens,” said Governor Hogan. “Leaders in Washington need to put aside their differences and get this fixed.”

To provide relief for commuting expenses, beginning Friday morning, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) is offering free transit for federal employees who are not being paid but still reporting to work during the shutdown. These federal employees who show their federal government ID during the shutdown can ride for free on MARC, Commuter Bus, and BaltimoreLink services, including: CityLink, LocalLink, Express BusLink, Light RailLink, and Metro SubwayLink.

Additionally, the Maryland Department of General Services has organized a food drive with 15 drop-off locations in state-owned buildings across the Maryland. Items most in need include canned meats, peanut butter and jelly, boxed pasta and sauce, healthy snacks such as breakfast bars and dried fruit, cereal, soups/canned meals, baby food, Ensure, and other nutritional supplements. Gift cards for groceries and fuel will also be accepted. Once the food drive is complete, all items collected will be delivered to local food banks. For additional information, including drop-off locations, please visit the #MDHelps website at governor.maryland.gov/mdhelps.

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Unemployment Insurance (UI) has extended call center hours to efficiently handle the increase in UI claims stemming from the partial federal government shutdown. Call centers will be open for an additional two hours each day to better assist affected workers.

The Maryland Department of Human Services issued February SNAP benefits in mid-January to assist the more than 650,000 Marylanders recipients in Maryland. Additionally, the department recently launched a website with additional information about benefits to assist citizens. A list of community food resources by county, frequently asked questions, a copy of the SNAP/FSP customer letter, and phone numbers for each of the local departments of social services are just some of the helpful information DHS provided on its website.

Visit the #MDHelps website at governor.maryland.gov/mdhelps for more information.

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