The shutdown in the United States of America might begin to hit hard on citizens especially the federal workers, an example of what might happen in days to come was witnessed at a kitchen on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, just across from the J. Edgar Hoover Building, had served nearly 30,000 meals.
The pop-up is the work of World Central Kitchen, the organization founded by DC-based chef José Andrés in 2010 to feed people impacted by the earthquake in Haiti. But the reverse was the case where those served where not victims of a natural disaster this time. Rather, it was serving federal employees who have been left without pay during the country’s longest shutdown—including the FBI agents who work across the street.
“It’s a real testament to the severity of the crisis that our country’s in right now,” said Nathan Mook, the organization’s director. “People are really hurting and for the first time in their lives are having to stand in line to get a hot plate of food.”
The whole operation has been made possible by hundreds of volunteers who signed up to help, many of whom are furloughed workers themselves. One worker, Lindsey, who requested that Mother Jones not use her last name for this piece, found out about the kitchen through a friend.
“It’s just stressful—you can’t plan for the future, plan anything really, until the shutdown ends.”
“It’s definitely a little more challenging to go from two paychecks to one, so there’s just been a little bit of juggling and balance,” she told me. “I’m fortunate my partner is actually working, so we’re okay. But it’s just stressful—you can’t plan for the future, plan anything really, until the shutdown ends.”