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These Restaurants Are Serving Free Meals To Federal Workers During The Government Shutdown

We’re a little over two weeks into the current federal government shutdown and the end to it isn’t in sight as of right now. It’s worrisome to the tens of thousands of federal workers stuck without their paychecks.

Fortunately, restaurants around the country are helping the furloughed, granting free meals to those who show their federal government ID as a way to help offset some of the expenses they still have to pay for while waiting to return to work.

Here’s a look at how these establishments across the United States are lending a kind helping hand.

Washington, D.C.


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Chef Jose Andres has brought his feeding force to DC to help those in need during the government shutdown, as several restaurants in the area, including his own, are offering up free meals with a government ID. You have to show up between 2pm and 5 pm each day, according to WTOP.

The restaurants in the area participating are as follows:

  • America Eats Tavern
  • Zaytinya
  • Jaleo
  • Oyamel
  • China Chilcano
  • Beefsteak



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The family behind Smokin’ This and That BBQ in Florence, Kentucky is committed to serving federal employees in their area for as long as the shutdown lasts. So far, according to WLWT, they’ve been feeding over 100 local furloughed workers.



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Local restaurateur Neal Brown has committed to helping federal workers in his area, and that means that any of his restaurants will offer those who show their government ID meals on the house. Brown owns three restaurants in Indianapolis, including Pizzology (craft pizza), Ukiyo (sushi), and The Libertine (a local gastropub).


The town of St. Ignace is home to a Coast Guard station, part of the workforce that’s on the clock without pay during the shutdown. Nearby coffee shop Java Joe’s Cafe is thus offering up free breakfast to any member of the Coast Guard while the government is closed, with the owner saying “It’s the least I can do” on a Facebook post.


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Meanwhile, in nearby Traverse Bay, Coast Guard members are also struggling with no guarantee of a paycheck in January. Bayside Market, however, is offering to pay for the groceries as long as servicemen show their IDs. The whole local community is on board, too, with donations from both residents and suppliers helping Bayside provide this act of kindness.


In Colorado Springs, downtown spot Poor Richard’s is offering up free meals to government employees and their families, and is encouraging others to follow suit.

“We urge other businesses to follow suit!” a Facebook post reads. “We hope this undue hardship facing our loyal government employees ends soon!”


If you’re in Mobile, Alabama and are affected by the shutdown, Sylvia’s Biscuits and Po Boys has you covered. They’re offering free meals for you and a guest until the shutdown ends.

New Jersey

Thanks to fellow Foodbeast Erica for the tip!

Atlantic City restaurant The Iron Room is providing free dinners for the Coast Guard, who’s directly affected by the shutdown and working without pay. Active members and their spouses can get these meals between January 8-10.


Apocalypse Avoided: Sriracha to Resume Shipments in Late January


It looks like everyone can breathe now, well except Irwindale residents: Sriracha will begin its shipping process later this month. There’s seems to be a light at the end of this unbearable 30-day tunnel for the beloved hot sauce, after all.

The troubles for Huy Fong Foods, manufacturer of Sriracha and other chili-based products, began when residents from the neighboring Irwindale area complained of an odor causing burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches. A court order demanded that the factory halt its productions for a 30-day period, which began in December. The shutdown was intended to further investigate the cause of the odor.

This was a problem for some food suppliers who believed they could lose hundreds of thousands in sales. However, it looks like things will be back in business for the company, as a spokesperson representing Huy Fong Foods confirmed with ABC News that they plan to resume shipments towards the end of January.

Between those stocking up religiously on bottles and those selling them on Amazon and eBay, has this month-long Sriracha panic given us a new sense of appreciation for the cock sauce?

H/T ABC News


Time to Panic: Sriracha Shipment on Halt Until Mid-January


Shipment of everyone’s beloved Sriracha will be on halt until mid-January.  Huy Fong Foods has been on lock ever since the California Department of Public Health began to implement stricter guidelines for the company’s production. Since their sauces are ground fresh and not cooked, batches of Sriracha, Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek are on a 30-day hold to help ensure that they’re kept free of harmful microorganisms.

The distribution delay follows a heated struggle with the city of Irwindale, California, which sued the hot sauce manufacturer after nearby residents complained of burning eyes, irritated throats and headaches caused by the pungent chili odor emanating from the plant. A judge has since ordered the factory to stop any operations that may contribute to the smell until experts can mitigate the situation.

Although Huy Fong Foods expects shipments to proceed as usual following the hold, some distributors have voiced their concern. Damon Chu, president of wholesale Asian food supplier Giant Union, told the LA Times that his company could lose up to $300,000 in sales.

H/T LA Times + Picthx Sriracha