Chattanooga restaurants and food trucks help federal workers

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — During the partial government shutdown, some Chattanooga restaurants and food trucks did their part to help impacted federal workers.

Inside Virgola, some federal workers were leaving after finishing up a free meal Friday afternoon.

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When Cheri Guerdon, the owner, heard restaurants across the country were helping people impacted by the partial government shutdown, she wanted to help as well.

“A restaurant in California was doing it, so I thought that was a really great way to give back to the community,” Guerdon said.

She feels for what these people went through.

“My assistant manager and I were just talking about that this morning, about how we would make our house payment or rent or car payment or pay utilities or put gas in the car. So we were just talking about that this morning and our heart just goes out to the federal workers,” Guerdon said.

In order to get a free lunch or dinner, all they had to do was show their federal ID. Virgola isn’t the only place helping federal workers. Jim Masiella, the owner of a food truck called California Smothered Burritos, is planning to give those who were impacted by the partial government shutdown a free meal tomorrow night.

“And I thought well, what can I do and I thought since I am in the food business I thought they definitely have to eat and if they can’t afford to buy food, it has been our policy since we started 7 years ago to, we feed homeless people if they come up we won’t give them money, but if they are hungry we will give them food. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to reach out to federal workers in their time of need,” Masiella said.

Masiella says he can relate to furloughed employees who were worried about money and food.

“I was raised by a single mom who didn’t have a lot of money. So I understand what that is all about,” Masiella said.

Back at Virgola, they say the federal workers who came through were appreciative of all the help and support.

California Smothered Burritos will be giving out the free food to federal workers on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Odd Story Brewery. They asked to bring their ID.