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Furloughed Chesterfield mother worries about missing next paycheck: ‘We want to work’

RICHMOND, Va., -- A Chesterfield mother who was furloughed as part of the government shutdown worried about missing yet another paycheck.

Donna Ingram has worked for the IRS in the Department of Treasury for nearly 15 years.

"As federal employees everyone says we have that good government job. It’s supposed to be security in it," Ingram stated.

Friday marked 28 days since the federal government has been shutdown, which is the longest in U.S. history.

"We want to work. We aren’t on strike. We are furloughed - it’s a difference. We want to do our jobs," Ingram explained.

Last Tuesday, Ingram's pay stub showed the word "furloughed" followed by the 80 hours she worked. Ingram wasn't paid.

"I was in the middle of some medical treatment that I can’t have at the moment because I don’t have the extra money for the co-pays. I have to put that aside," she said. "Our livelihood is at stake. Everything you’ve worked hard for you can lose."

An air traffic controller who lives in the West End and commutes to Northern Virginia is also facing hardships.

The father and husband, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he is still required to work since his job is deemed essential.

"Not receiving a paycheck, as you can imagine, is rough. What makes it worse is I’m one of the “lucky” few who is deemed essential, so I still have to report to work as normal. Being an air traffic controller, having this extra stress on our minds is making the job less safe. We do our best to mitigate outside distractions, but when you’re facing utilities being shut off, eviction, or your kids not eating, that’s not easy to do," he explained.

He said he's taken up a side job with Uber to help make ends meet during the shutdown, but also worries about missing another paycheck.

Ingram said missing another paycheck - which would be due to employees on January 25 - would put her into a major financial situation. Her church and friends have helped her financially, so far.

As a federal employee she never expected to wait in line for food.

Feed More in Richmond prepared enough bags of food for 150 families after the number of people asking about their services increased skyrocketed.

"We've had a 58 percent increase in inquiries over the last five days," Douglas Pick, the CEO of Feed More, said.

Other organizations are currently collecting food and supply donations to be handed out to furloughed federal employees.

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