Free coffee, sandwiches and more: NJ businesses helping federal workers
Furloughed government workers in New Jersey have been getting more offers for help and support as the partial government shutdown wears on.
TSA staff working without pay at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday — shutdown day 27 — received free coffee and doughnuts from Montclair Bread Company.
The business also has been offering a free cup of coffee and a loaf of bread or sandwich for government employees who stop by the bakery at16 Label St., Montclair.
Coast Guard members along the Jersey Shore have been a focus of community help. The Tri-Boro First Aid Squad in Seaside Park has been collecting donations of non-perishable foods or grocery store gift cards. Residents are asked to call 732-830-3232 ahead of dropping off donations at 61 J Street. All donations will be delivered to the Coast Guard stations in Manasquan and Cape May starting Jan. 21.
The Cape May Training Center is the fifth largest Coast Guard base and Cape May County historically has been dubbed "the Coast Guard’s Hometown." Furloughed staff there have been making use of a community food bank effort. Donations continue to be dropped off at Seaville Fire Company (36 Route 50, Seaville) and the American Legion Post 184 (4200 Atlantic Ave., Wildwood).
South Jersey health system Virtua has been taking non-perishable food donations in a special drive with the Food Bank of South Jersey. Also, the Virtua Mobile Farmers Market has been providing a free bag of produce per week to any federal government employee (with valid employee ID/badge). The mobile market visits multiple communities each week, with upcoming stops at Westampton, Camden and Sicklerville.
Navy Federal Credit Union, which has a branch at Naval Weapons Station Earle in Colts Neck, has been helping eligible workers apply for the Government Shutdown Loan Program. Federal employees whose pay has been disrupted but who don't meet eligibility requirements can call 1-888-842-6328 for further help.
Federal workers also have gotten a social media shoutout to visit the JBJ Soul Kitchen locations in Toms River and Red Bank. The nonprofit restaurants are run by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. Diners can pay a minimum donation for their meals or contribute volunteer hours.
Each day that the shutdown continues means more money off a meal at Brickwall Tavern for federal workers with an ID. The restaurant locations in Asbury Park, Burlington County and Philadelphia began the offer on Tuesday, the 25th day of the shutdown, with a 25-percent discount.
Hidden Grounds Coffee has been giving away coffee to government workers impacted by the shutdown. The coffee company has locations in New Brunswick (106 Easton Ave.), Hoboken (700 Garden St.) and Jersey City (148 First St., Ground Floor).
Bayshore Pharmacy (2 Bayshore Plaza, Atlantic Highlands) and Middletown Family Pharmacy (877 Main St, Belford) both are deferring payment for federal employees affected by the government shutdown.
Atlantic City Electric, JCP&L and PSE&G each have existing procedures to help customers facing financial difficulty during winter months, including furloughed federal employees.