Food pantry opens for low-paid courthouse workers in Wichita

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A courthouse in south-central Kansas has opened a pantry for low-paid judicial workers who can't afford to buy food.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the pantry at Sedgwick County District Court is about four months old. Courthouse employees facing financial struggles can take home food from the pantry.

The judicial branch is seeking more funding from lawmakers to boost salaries. Chief Judge James Fleetwood told a House committee Monday that the need for a pantry is embarrassing and that employees deserve better.

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss says that nearly a third of all Kansas judicial workers have starting salaries below the 2017 federal poverty level for a family of four.

Some lawmakers say that workers deserve more money, but court funding must be balanced with other needs.