City government and the local food pantry are offering aid to Coast Guard members and their families as the partial government shutdown continues.

There are more 100 Coast Guard members assigned to Rockland. There is a Coast Guard station as well the Abbie Burgess, Thunder Bay, and Tackle.

The Rockland City Council discussed assistance to the Coast Guard personnel during the Council's Monday night, Jan. 7 meeting.

The city has had a heating assistance fund through donations for the past several years for the public in need of aid.

"There are a ton of young Coast Guard families with little children who live paycheck to paycheck," Councilor Valli Geiger said Monday night.

City Manager Tom Luttrell said he would be attending a meeting of the Rockland Coast Guard City Commitee and would raise the issue with the Coast Guard representative in attendance.

The manager also asked Tuesday for donations for the city fuel aid fund to help replenish when it is used.

Rockland has been designated a Coast Guard City since 2008 because of its support for and close ties to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has been located on the Tillson Avenue peninsula since shortly after the end of World War II.

The partial federal shutdown began Dec. 22. The Coast Guard personnel received pay on Dec. 31 for work performed prior to that date. But no pay will be issued Monday unless an agreement is reached between President Donald Trump, who demands more than $5 billion to build a wall along the border with Mexico, and Congress.

Federal workers are paid every two weeks.

The Area Interfaith food pantry has also put out a notice that it is ready to assist Coast Guard families.

The food pantry is located at 70 Thomaston St. in Rockland. The hours are Monday, Wednesday or Friday 9:30 a.m. to noon (food/heating vouchers available) and Wednesday 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (food only).

The pantry asks people to speak with the front desk to get help (identification will be needed).

Household members may come for food once per calendar month. The amount given is based on the size of your family, and is enough for about three days. That usually includes frozen meat, fresh produce, baked goods, and eggs, plus canned and boxed food from the shelves.

If you need some help with heating, AIO works directly with the heating companies who accept its vouchers.  The organization may be able to order up to 100 gallons of heating fuel for your home.

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