Workers out of jobs across Kansas City metro after coronavirus precautions cancel events

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The flurry of canceled events are leaving a lot of people without a paycheck.

When you come to an event at the Sprint Center, there’s someone who scans your ticket, someone who checks your bags, someone who helps you find a seat and someone who sells you snacks. 

All those folks have no paycheck for the foreseeable future.  

While many are nervous about how long the impact of coronavirus will last, community agencies are stepping up to help.

Volunteers were busy filling boxes with food Friday at Harvesters in Kansas City. 

While there’s always a big need to help feed the hungry and supply partner pantries with food, the nonprofit is gearing up for what could be an unprecedented response amid the national emergency surrounding the coronavirus.

Harvesters knows many will be losing lots of income with events canceled and business slowing down. Those people might need help to fill their family’s plates.

“What we’re looking at is being able to distribute the food that needs to get out to our pantries,” Joanna Sebelien, Harvesters chief resource officer, said.

“We have more than 37 agencies that are designated disaster response pantries. They are many of our larger agencies, so we’d be working closely with them to get as much food out to families as we need to.”

Harvesters is also looking at launching mobile food bank, like they’ve done during government shutdowns to help feed employees out of work and hungry kids who could miss school lunches. 

Sebelien said donating money is the best thing people can do to help build up the food supply.

“The fact is, if we can’t have numbers of volunteers, we have to look at being able to bring food in. We need it by the pallet size to be able to get it out quickly, so that’s where donated dollars can really help,” Sebelien said.

Jeffrey Remington hopes he won’t need that kind of help but knows his pocketbook is about to take a big hit. He works several part-time jobs, including in-guest services at three metro event venues.

“I’ve lost quite a bit of money now off probably the next two months at least,” Remington said.

He said most of his co-workers at Sprint Center use those jobs as a second income. However, he said he worries for those who rely on that work as a primary job and will now be scrambling to keep their heads above water.

“The bills don’t stop, so it’s going to get interesting for sure,” Remington said.

FOX4’s also heard from DJs, photographers, bartenders and party rental companies who’ve been losing jobs left and right as events get canceled. They’re hoping to eek by for now, but they said they worry about the long-term financial impact all this will have on their lives.

Here’s where you can donate to Harvesters.

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