Furloughed federal workers get free meal at Greensboro restaurant, talk about shutdown

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — A downtown restaurant is treating federal workers to a free meal.

Thousands of federal workers furloughed since the government shutdown have gone without a paycheck for more than 30 days.

It’s affecting many in the Triad.

“They’re serving the federal employees a nice dinner, which I think is really nice of them. They don’t have to do that but I really appreciate it,” said Sharon Smith, a federal employee.

Smith and several others enjoyed a meal inside of 1618 Downtown. Smith says it’s a great feeling to know local organizations and restaurant are supporting them during this time.

The restaurant provided free meals to federal workers and their families Tuesday through Thursday this week, averaging more than 40 employees per day.

“It was our first time here and it was absolutely delicious,” said Hollie Reed, the wife of a federal worker.

Several federal workers said the last 30 days have been a difficult time, living day-to-day with no paychecks.

“It’s been really frustrating not knowing when we will be able to go back to work and get our paychecks because we really need to get paid so we can pay our bills,” Smith said.

“I’m watching my gas and calling my creditors asking for grace — that, ‘You know, I’m affected by the federal shutdown,'” said Felicia Westry, a federal worker.

While most want to see the government reopen, others support the reason behind the closure.

“I want that wall built and I support my president. I know there a method to this madness and I hope that our leadership will get it together,” Reed said.

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