As the government shutdown continues, local nonprofits are coming together to provide a free meal to furloughed federal workers.
Astegos is a nonprofit in Boise and they make meals three times a week in the St. Vincent de Paul dining hall. Both nonprofits are committed to helping the local homeless community. This Monday, they will be hosting a dinner for a different group of people than they typically serve: federal employees.
"We came up with this idea of inviting them to our regular weekly meal, and it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We said, 'that’s a wonderful time to remind the community what caring is all about,'" says Tim Flaherty, executive director of Astegos.
Even though the organization provides meals regularly, he says one thing that makes this dinner special is that the Boise Philharmonic will play while people eat.
He says some federal workers going without a paycheck might be hesitant to ask for help. But he wants them to know they won’t be judged for coming to get a meal.
"We understand that these are people who typically earn a decent wage and they don’t necessarily need to ask for help, and we want them to know there won’t be any intrusive questions and that we’re here for them," he says.
St. Vincent de Paul has four food pantries in the Treasure Valley and one in Mountain Home. Flaherty says these federal employees are welcome to the pantries and the meals provided throughout the week.
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