“Charity helps government employees through hard times.” By Joe Davidson. Washington Post. September 27, 2010. Many people have been too busy worrying about paying the rent to notice the recession is officially over. Among them are a growing number of Uncle Sam’s crew, who find themselves in desperate need of financial help, despite claims by critics that federal employees are overpaid. Increasingly, that help comes from the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA). One indication of just how tough this recession is on federal workers is the sharp rise in money lent by FEEA. This charity, which serves only federal workers, has more than tripled the no-interest loans it provides to clients since fiscal 2007. Then, the figure was $144,900. It jumped to $387,600 in fiscal 2010, which ended in April. Based on the first five months of this fiscal year, FEEA expects to lend about $524,000 by the time fiscal 2011 ends. During that 2007-10 period, the number of people receiving loans surged from 207 to 604. There will be more than 840 loan recipients by the end of fiscal 2011 if FEEA projections hold up. “It has jumped up dramatically, and it is staying up,” said Steve Bauer, FEEA’s executive director. The average recipient supports a family on $30,000, or less, a year.