Can Federal Workers Get Free Groceries?

The government was shut down for a record of 35 days between December and January. Federal workers were not paid during this time, which had negative economic effects on their families. There are multiple stories on the news that grocery stores are offering free or discounted groceries for federal workers who have their ID’s.

The question is would grocery stores really give free food away to federal workers when they are not getting that money back?

In defense of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’ suggestion that furloughed federal workers take out bank loans instead of going to food banks, President Trump said, “Perhaps he should have said it differently. Local people know who they are, (where) they go for groceries and everything else. … They will work along. I know banks are working along. … And that’s what happens in time like this. They know the people; they’ve been dealing with them for years. And they work along. The grocery store — And I think that’s probably what Wilbur Ross meant.”

The CvHS Scribe set out to find out if federal workers could, in fact, get free groceries during the shutdown, along with the ways local businesses are helping federal employees impacted by the shutdown.

Greta is one time of the managers at the Food Lion grocery store in the Cleveland Community. Greta says that the store can not give away groceries. “I didn’t even know that stores were giving out free food for federal workers, but no I would not consider giving them free food or a discount,” Greta said.

Michelle is the manager at Target. Michelle says that they do not make the decision to give them free food at a store level. That lies with the main office in Minneapolis. “If it were up to me, I would have to look if we could fit it into our budget, Michelle said.”

In the greater community area, stores in Raleigh offer some relief for federal workers.

While grocery stores are not giving away groceries, some businesses and restaurants are assisting federal workers. A list follows:  

Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery: a free daily sandwich as long as the shutdown continues.

Trophy Brewing in Raleigh: a free small pizza for one worker or a large one for two at Trophy’s pizzeria (at 827 W. Morgan St.), and a free sandwich and side at Trophy Tap + Table (at 225 S. Wilmington St.) and bottle shop State of Beer (at 401-A Hillsborough St.). Just show your government ID.

Romano’s Macaroni Grill at Triangle Town Center in Raleigh: a free Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs + Spaghetti from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Jan. 23 or until the shutdown ends.

The Third Place Coffee Shop on Glenwood Ave., Raleigh: free 12 ounce coffee.

The Fox and Hound restaurant at North Hills in Raleigh is offering a free pepperoni pizza on Wednesdays.

Dos Taquitos on U.S. 70 in Raleigh: one free meal every day the shutdown continues.

Tin Roof Teas in Cameron Village in Raleigh is offering a free tea to any furloughed federal employee during the shutdown.

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