Federal officials who do not receive a salary since December due to the partial closure of the Administration are forced to resort to food banks and to the solidarity of people like the Spanish chef José Andrés, who decided to open an improvised kitchen to give them free meals.
On the twenty-fifth day of the closure of the Government, a good number of the 800,000 affected public workers have such a need that even organizations that specialize in offering food to victims of natural disasters are reaching out to them.
Nate Mook, director of World Central Kitchen, the nonprofit organization of the Spanish chef based in Washington, told Efe that faced with the suffering of these Americans, many of whom live without scarcely any savings, they decided to “take action” and join to private sector companies to support them.
With that idea in mind, he explained, José Andrés will open on Wednesday a local in the heart of Washington, on Avenida Pensilvania, which connects the White House and Congress, to provide free meals to employees who are unpaid since October 22. last December and their families.
Following the idea with the improvised kitchens that the Spanish cook opened on the occasion of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in 2017 or the deadly Camp fire last fall in California, this place will be open seven days a week and there will even be food for take home.
The Spanish chef, very critical of the Administration of President Donald Trump, said in a message on social networks that the aid comes accompanied by a strong call to legislators and especially the New York mogul to end this closure and work for ” all Americans. “
The solidarity, accompanied by a strong criticism to the Government to unleash this crisis to build the wall that Trump wants to raise on the border with Mexico and who refuse to finance the Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, have also had many small businesses , like the three locations of the Hidden Grounds cafe in New Jersey.
The business is offering free drinks to the affected employees “until the government gets them together again,” reads a notice on the door of their stores.
A similar call was made in San Francisco, Miguel Escobedo, owner of the Al Pastor Papi food truck, which is giving two tacos and fresh water to federal employees who do not charge.
Escobedo said in social networks that he decided to contribute his grain of sand to seeing the situation facing his brother Carlos, who saw his work suspended as investigator of the district attorney in Sacramento (California) due to the closure of the Government.
That spirit of union is what inspired the owner of the only Haitian restaurant in the Miami International Airport to offer free food to federal employees who work at the airfield without receiving payment.
They are part of the nearly 420,000 public employees who must work without collecting until the closure, while another 380,000 were sent home without pay.
Trump’s refusal to sign a budget that does not include 5,700 million dollars to start building his long-awaited wall has also put to work the food banks that are part of the organization Feeding America.
The Food Bank of the Capital Area (CAFB), in Washington, distributed this past Saturday about 30,000 pounds (13,620 kilograms) of food.
Pamela Leftrict, a policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was affected by the closure, said in a statement that she needs help because she has a child to support.
However, Leftrict has tried to put a good face on the matter and is receiving donations as a volunteer at the food bank, where he wants to disseminate information about the aid that exists to other employees affected by the closure.
However, the federal employee has discovered that many of her colleagues are still unwilling to seek help.
“I think you never think you’re going to be the one who needs help, but sometimes we’re closer than we think,” he said of a situation that has forced thousands of federal employees to apply for unemployment benefits, despite technically they do have work. (EFEUSA) .-