Federal workers give back to community

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Federal employees in Madison are spending their time out of work by giving back.

Researchers from the USDA helped pack cheese at Second Harvest Foodbank Friday morning. The group normally volunteers once a month, but they've donated their time on three occasions in the last two weeks.

Although they are able to spend more time volunteering, Diane Amundson, a lab technician at the USDA, says the impact of the shutdown and the loss of time to do research, weighs on their minds.

"We've had to put a lot of the research projects that we were working on, on hold. So there's been a lot of loss in momentum on things. I kind of think about what it is I'll begin working on as soon as I get back to work. A lot of projects that I had planned to work on while all the students were with me these three weeks I'm going to end up doing myself," Amundson said.

Amundson says the shutdown is also impacting students that work with their department. They now have to search for other ways to pay for school.

For now, Amundson says they will continue to spend extra time at Second Harvest. They are scheduled to return on Tuesday, Jan. 22.