GLEN ROCK, NJ - The grassroots community group, Glen Rock After the March (GRATM), is partnering with Stone & Rail, a gastropub on Rock Road, to offer free meals to unpaid and furloughed federal workers.
GRATM organized a GoFundMe campaign to support the initiative, while Stone & Rail is also subsidizing the effort. As of January 16, $900 had been contributed to the GoFundMe page. Workers with federal employee IDs are eligible for a free entree for themselves and for a guest at the restaurant at 175 Rock Road. The offer will continue through the end of January or until funds are depleted.
"We're proud to join our neighbors in supporting federal workers in our community," said Stone & Rail owner Brian Crowe.
An estimated 800,000 federal employees nationwide have been furloughed or are working without pay across the country. Many are grappling with bills and living expenses. "We hope a free, hot meal at one of our favorite restaurants will offer unpaid federal employees at least a small respite from their daily struggles during the government shutdown," said Becca Coll, a member of the GRATM leadership team.
According to Boozy Burbs (https://www.boozyburbs.com/govtshutdown/), at least six other local area restaurants are offering free food and drink to unpaid and furloughed Federal employees during the shutdown.
The U.S. government shutdown, which began Dec. 22, is the longest government closure in U.S. history. Elected officials are locked in a stalemate over potential funding for a border wall between Mexico and the U.S.
The issue of welcoming immigrants in need of shelter and refuge is an important one for Glen Rock After the March. This past summer, GRATM hosted a Rally for Humanity in Glen Rock with over 500 attendees to raise their voices in support of immigrant rights.
Contributions to the shutdown meal fund can be made here: https://bit.ly/2TQYT64. After the shutdown concludes, any excess funds will be donated to the United Way.