TSA workers protest shutdown, turn to food banks for help amid uncertainty

TSA workers protest amid shutdown

Arlington, Va. — Federal workers rallied in Los Angeles and other cities Wednesday, demanding an end to the partial government shutdown. Their call comes as a growing percentage of TSA officers, who have been working without pay, call out sick.

The TSA administrator confirmed a spike in sick calls is due to officers who can no longer afford to work for free. Screeners protested in Dallas Wednesday morning, while a food bank at the Tampa airport saw about 60 federal workers in its first 90 minutes.

In Orlando, people are dropping off donations, as neighbors help furloughed neighbors.

"I really feel for them, they shouldn't have to go through this," said Orlando resident Eric Adelson.

The hundreds of thousands of federal workers impacted by the shutdown also include members of the Secret Service, Border Patrol and Amanda Gibbs' husband, who's in the Coast Guard.

"It's been pretty shaking and somber. My husband was not in a happy mood this morning when he got dressed and went to work knowing that we're living on our saving account right now," she said.

In Washington, D.C., the line was steady outside a 2019 shutdown version of a soup kitchen for unpaid government workers and their families. Justice Department employee Chris Greer is on the job without pay, and said he can go about another two weeks. After that, he said he will have to "figure out how to borrow money."

World Central Kitchen, which was started by celebrity chef José Andrés, deploys volunteer chefs after natural disasters. They expect to feed more than 2,000 people a day during the shutdown.

A federal judge denied a motion by the air traffic controllers union aimed at stopping the shutdown. Now, city leaders in Atlanta are worried about the shutdown's impact on Super Bowl crowds, especially when it comes to the TSA lines.

  • Kris Van Cleave

    Kris Van Cleave is the transportation correspondent for CBS News.