"Hello you have reached the USDA Rural Development. We are not in the office at this time. We are on furlough due to the lack of government funding."

That's the message you'll hear if you call the USDA Rural Development office in Scarborough.

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There are 15,000 federal workers in Maine, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

51 unemployment claims have been filed with the department since the start of the shutdown, nearly three weeks ago.

"We're offering a variety of ways to keep the stress level low for people going through a difficult time," said Jon Paradise, Vice President of public relations at Town and Country Federal Credit Union.

Paradise says they have several options, including a loan for furloughed workers.

"We're offering 1% interest. They can borrow up to $5,000. We're refunding fees," he explained.

Others are helping to keep food on the table.

"We're willing to help them out in anyway that we can," said Dwayne Hopkins of the South Portland Food Cupboard.

Aside from the shutdown, the South Portland Food Cupboard serves 150 seniors a month with supply boxes which include canned foods, pasta, juice and more.

Products like juice, however, come to the pantry from the USDA.

"We anticipate that it will still be coming to us," said Hopkins. "Of course there's this nervousness if the partial government shutdown is going to bring that to a halt."

For Hopkins, helping others is his passion, and right now it's personal.

"Our middle son has just been pinned as a captain in the military," he said. "He's Army Reserve but he and his family still depend on that paycheck as well and of course there's always a concern how far this government shutdown is going to go."

Among those who are working without a paycheck, TSA officers and air traffic controllers. At the Portland JetPort a sweet note was delivered this morning to officers reading in part, "thank you so so much for being there for us at a high personal cost to yourselves."

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As for those who depend on the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), participants will still have access through February. The USDA has also made sure its nutrition programs for children have funding available through March.

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