Food and Other Resources to Help Workers Through the Government Shutdown

As the bills begin to pile up, resources are trickling in to help federal government workers impacted by the partial government shutdown. We’ve compiled a list to make finding help easier.

Updated 1/16/19 @ 8:00am

Food Assistance

  • Kraft Pop Up Shop:  –Kraft is opening a grocery store pop-up tomorrow in Washington, D.C. to support a program called “Kraft Now Pay Later” that helps federal government workers during the government shutdown.  The pop-up store will be open January 16 – 20, 2019 at 1287 4th Street NE, two blocks from Union Market. Current federal government workers holding their government ID will be able to shop and take home a bag full of Kraft products for their families. In return, Kraft asks workers (if they can) to pay it forward by donating to their charity of choice or someone in need once they are able to do so.  

January 16th – January 20th

1287 4th Street, NE – Federal workers bring your ID to receive free food courtesy of Kraft.  Kraft is stepping in and helping them stock up on staples like Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft Natural Cheese, Kraft Singles, Kraft Salad Dressings, Kraft Mayo and Kraft BBQ for their dinner tables.

Central Union Mission: Central Union Mission invites furloughed federal employees in need of food to visit our Family Ministry Center (3194-B Bladensburg Rd., NE, Washington, DC), Monday through Thursday from 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm. Groceries will be available while supplies last through our Emergency Referral Program. People seeking assistance must bring a government-issued I.D. and agency work badge/ID. Families affected by SNAP shortages can show their food stamp card and I.D.

Central Union Mission – 65 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Bread for the City:  Furloughed government workers and contractors in the DMV can visit Bread for the City in Northwest or Southeast for a five-day supply of groceries.

1640 Good Hope Road, SE

1525 7th Street, NW

Amalgamated Transit Union International:  Monday-Friday (Jan. 14-Jan. 18) from noon-6pm ATU will be providing free meals for furloughed federal employees at the TDCC at 10000 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring.  Workers only need to bring their federal employee identification card to receive a free meal for them and their family. 

Free Lunch every Saturday from 12pm to 1pm for kids 18 and under at the following DC Recreation Centers:

Rita Brown – Ward 1

Emery – Ward 4

Joe Cole – Ward 5

Harry Thomas – Ward 5

King Greenleaf – Ward 6

Hillcrest – Ward 7

Benning Park – Ward 7

Benning Stoddart – Ward 7

Barry Farm – Ward 8 (1pm – 2pm)

Montgomery County Public Schools is providing meals to impacted students of the shutdown through its Dine with Dignity program.  Students with negative account balances can get the usual breakfast or lunch for free.

Falls Church Public Schools is offering help paying for lunches, tuition and daycare.  School officials are also hiring substitute teaches and bus drivers.  Families can also work with a social worker if needed.

The Capital Area Food Bank will provide free food for impacted federal workers every Saturday at various locations around the DMV.  Check out their website for updates.


The chain will offer free pies to government workers from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day of the shutdown. Go to find website for the locations.

Baked by Yael

3000 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Federal employees and contractors can get a free coffee through the shutdown. Zoo employees required to work without pay can get a free bagel sandwich or small soup each weekday.

The Duplex Diner 

2004 18th St. NW

The Duplex Diner is offering furloughed feds a free Monday meal and a glass of wine. Bring your ID or business card.

Hula Girl Bar and Girl

4044 Campbell Ave, Arlington, Virginia

Furloughed government employees can show their ID to get a free beer and a burger at the bar during happy hour, which runs Monday to Friday 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Maggiano’s Little Italy at Chevy Chase

5333 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C.

The Italian chain is offering 50 percent off to government employees.

ThinkFoodGroup Restaurants

Various Locations

Federal workers and their families with a federal ID get a free sandwich at the bar of any of the famed chef’s restaurants, including Oyamel, Zaytinya, America Eats Tavern, and Beefsteak. The offer stands from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily until the shutdown ends.

World Central Kitchen

Pennsylvania Avenue NW (exact location to be announced)

Starting 1/16 open its #Chefs For Feds kitchen and café for FREE hot meals at 701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW near the Navy Memorial for all federal employees in need and their families.


Free Lunches for Area Students:  Most school systems throughout the DMV are providing some level of food assistance for students.  Check with your jurisdiction and local school for details.

Assistance with your Bills:

The Financial Equality Center and Housing Counseling Network at National Community Reinvestment Coalition:  The Financial Equality Center and Housing Counseling Network at National Community Reinvestment Coalition is hosting an event to provide housing counseling and financial coaching to individuals impacted by the furlough.  FEC will assist homeowners who have fallen behind or are in danger of falling behind on their mortgage payments due to the government shutdown or other financial hardships. Housing Counselors can assist homeowners with addressing delinquencies and defaults with.
We will also discuss financial planning and debt management. This event is open to federal government employees and contractors.

NCRC’s Financial Equality Center(FEC) is a HUD certified Housing Counseling agency in the District of Columbia. Through a staff of highly trained Mortgage Advisors, the department provides housing counseling and coaching for individuals and families seeking to obtain, retain and sustain the American Dream of homeownership and financial resiliency.

Friday, January 18, 2019 from 10am to 1pm.
727 15th St. NW (8th Floor Conference Room) ,Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 1-800-475-NCRC
Breakfast will be provided, and gift cards will be provided to all individuals who complete an intake packet.

Water Bill Assistance: DC Water is providing extended payment plans for federal government workers who may need some flexibility in paying the utility because of the shutdown. Programs are also in plans for those customers trying to keep their water and sewer going. Check out the DC Water website for additional information.

WSSC: In an effort to assist federal workers struggling to make ends meet as the government shutdown hits 19 days, WSSC announced it will suspend all water service shutoffs. Customers are encouraged to contact WSSC and speak with a representative at 301-206-4001 or 1-800-828-6439 to discuss their specific situation.

Washington Gas: As the temperature goes down and the gas bill goes up, Washington Gas is offering some options for government employees feeling the pinch of the shutdown. Call 1-844-WASHGAS to find out your options.

BGE:   1-800-685-0123

Verizon Wireless: Verizon Wireless says it is standing at the ready to help workers with flexible payment options to keep service running. The “Our Promise Pay Program” allows customers to set a future date for payment.

Dominion Energy: Dominion Energy is also offering assistance, including payment extensions, long-term payment plans and bill payment assistance options. For details, visit the website at

Prince George’s County Government: Prince George’s County Government joined forces with the United Way of the National Capital Area to provide assistance to county residents feeling the pinch of the government shutdown. You can find a complete list of resources in the county on the website.

Pepco: Pepco says it has a wide range of payment options and also plans to work individually with customers impacted by the government shutdown. Call Pepco at 202-833-7500 to discussion your needs.

Help Feeding Your Pet: The Humane Rescue Alliance and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington have both opened up pet food pantries to help federal government workers who need assistance feedingtheir four legged family members. Visit their websites for details.

Fairfax County Public Schools: Fairfax County Public Schools is hiring furloughed federal employees as substitute teachers. The school district states it would expedite hiring for qualified candidates. A hiring event is set to be held on Jan. 11, with a second event scheduled for Jan. 15. Fairfax County Public Schools: Fairfax County Public Scho is hiring furloughed federal employees as substitute teachers. The school district states it would expedite hiring for qualified candidates. A hiring event is set to be held on Jan. 11, with a second event scheduled for Jan. 15.

Chase Bank: Chase encourages its customers to call to discuss certain hardship programs if they are employees of, or do business with, a U.S. federal agency and their income is affected by the shutdown. Customers who are in financial need should call the special care line at 1-888-356-0023.

Navy Federal Credit Union: Navy Federal Credit Union customers may be eligible for government shutdown assistance if their pay is impacted.  Customers should visit to learn their options

Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo is helping individuals who are experiencing hardship as a result of the federal government shutdown. The bank will work with individuals and business banking customers whose income is disrupted as a result of the shutdown. Customers should call 1-800-TO-WELLS.