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Chef José Andrés to continue providing free meals to federal workers until Friday

ABC7

The government shutdown may be temporarily over, but that’s not stopping chef José Andrés from continuing relief efforts on Pennsylvania Avenue.

That’s where he has been providing free groceries and hot meals to federal workers during the shutdown.

“World Central Kitchen, this operation is going to be here until next Friday, to make sure that every federal worker receives their paycheck,” Andrés said.

Federal workers who stopped by say they are ready to get back to work after 35 days away from the office.

“We’re going to have less than six months to spend all of our fiscal year funds,” said Danielle Roziewski, who works for USAID. “Our work is really important in mitigating all of the dangers of what’s happening around the world.”

“It’s impacting our children,” federal employee Lisa Jenkins-Depeiza said. “Our kids are now understanding that this is a really big deal, we’re not able to just get up and go like we did before.”

Jenkins-Depeiza says she’s worried about what will happen in the coming days as Congress continues to negotiate a long-term deal.

“A lot of people are concerned about if you pay into your health insurance," she said. "We haven’t technically paid in that for two pay periods, so is that going to be taken out as a lump sum? Are we going to be paid as a lump sum?”

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