ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX35) - Stacie Turner is a NASA engineer who's married to a federal worker. Neither of them is getting a paycheck. Since the shutdown, she's been baking cakes to pay the bills.
“God has given me the ability and talent to have this skill in my back pocket so that in times like these I can turn it on,” Turner said.
Her business, Velvet Confections by Stacie, has so far been successful, and she's been working long hours to fill the orders pouring in.
“I'm just grateful that what we're getting in, we're getting in,” she said, “and it's more than what we're getting from the government right now, which is zero.”
Other federal workers don't have a side-hustle to bring in some cash. Many of them are starting to find their way to places like One Heart for Women and Children, a food pantry in west Orlando.
“Yesterday we had one of the TSA workers came in, three employees in one home - six children in the home! We were able to load them up with enough food for a week,” said Stephanie Bowman, the food pantry president.
Bowman said so far this week they've helped nearly 40 families that have been affected by the shutdown. They want to let all federal workers know that their food pantry and others in the area stand ready to help.
“We had a call last week from one of the managers who I've known for several years who asked if this was a food pantry their employees could utilize and we said absolutely,” Bowman said.
With no end to the government shutdown in sight, Turner says now is the time for furloughed workers to focus on their passions if it can help put food on the table. “Figure out what it is that you enjoy and do it. And figure out how to make money doing it.”