Middle Tennesseans help furloughed federal employees

Second Harvest Volunteers
Posted at 10:45 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 23:45:21-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the partial government shutdown neared its 25th day, Middle Tennesseans stepped up to help local employees impacted by the situation.

Volunteers gathered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee to pack 325 food boxes for local TSA agents. They are currently among the federal employees who are furloughed or working without pay, and are starting to feel a financial pinch.

“It’s a really nice interim fix so they have some food,” said Nancy Keil-Culbertson, Chief Development and Marketing Officer at Second Harvest. “TSA agents have been reaching out to all the food banks throughout Tennessee.”

Each food box was filled with non-perishable items, and information about local agencies that can help them, as well. The boxes will be delivered to Nashville International Airport on Wednesday.

M.L. Rose Craft Beer and Burgers in Nashville is also offering a special deal to federal employees affected by the government shutdown. Thursday, Jan. 17. from 11:00 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. the first 100 employees with an ID can get a free cheeseburger and waffle fries. Any impacted employee who shows up after that, can get a burger and fries for $5. Federal workers can also stop by the restaurant’s Capitol View location Jan. 17 – 31 to get a $5 cheeseburger and fries. Federal employees must show their ID to their server to be eligible.

“We did research and there are thousands of federal workers here in Nashville, so we consider them our neighbors,” said Austin Ray, Owner of M.L. Rose. “Our way of helping our neighbors is to buy them a burger.”

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development reports the partial government shutdown currently impacts more than 25,000 Tennesseans.

Several banks including Bank of America, Chase and Wells Fargo are offering free financial assistance to impacted employees.

AT&T customers affected by the shutdown are eligible for flexible payment options to keep their cellphones, television and internet running. Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are also offering similar services.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is also accepting donations of food or money to help with future needs of furloughed employees. Middle Tennesseans who want to help are also encouraged to volunteer. You can find more information here: