Restaurants, airlines at PDX step up to help federal employees working without pay

Groups are donating meals to feed federal employees at PDX - KATU image.

Restaurants at the Portland International Airport are stepping up to feed federal workers who are not getting a paycheck as the partial government shutdown stretches into its 26th day.

A total of 13 different organizations have offered support, from restaurants, to airlines, and the Port of Portland.

At least one restaurant provided meals for an entire day. Many others are giving out breakfast, lunch, and dinner as shifts change.

Fewer TSA, Homeland Security and Air Traffic Control employees are on the job. However, those working the lines at TSA are essential staff, meaning they must report to work.

While they are working without pay, other airport-based employees want to help ease the financial burden.

Federal workers are provided three meals a day – all free of charge.

KATU's Kellee Azar talked with some of the employees to find out where the generous gestures are coming from. Andreas Joly, the owner of Capers Cafe at PDX, says helping out was a no-brainer.

“We are just past security on both sides of the airport, and we see the TSA every day, and we have some of the best TSA people in the nation. So the impact is right in front of us,” Joly said.

Joly says he knows if the tables were turned, they too would help.

“They are everyday people, a lot live paycheck-to-paycheck. I hear they are getting second jobs to pay their bills. They are doing everything they can,” said Joly.

Some airlines are pitching in too, paying for fully-catered meals to give federal employees some relief.

The restaurants, airlines and airport say they are committed to continuing meals however long the shutdown lasts.

If you would like to help email pdxcustomerservice@portofportland.com

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