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Councilmember Tom Hucker organizes community potluck for federal employees and contractors affected by government shutdown

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 8, 2019

From the Office of Councilmember Tom Hucker

Local restaurants, musicians pitch in
to help furloughed and other workers

ROCKVILLE, Md., January 7, 2019—The shutdown of the federal government is stretching into its third week, and hundreds of thousands of furloughed employees and contractors have had their lives turned upside down. But in Montgomery County, Councilmember Tom Hucker is organizing restaurants and musicians to provide all furloughed employees and their families with a free dinner and entertainment to make sure they know the community supports them.

“Due to the outrageous shutdown, tens of thousands of federal workers and contractors have had their lives completely turned upside down, and some have been unfairly attacked,” Hucker said. “Many are concerned about paying their bills, and many more are severely cutting back on expenses until they know when they will be paid again. Montgomery County is a caring and supportive community that values our federal workers. At a time of such widespread anxiety, I’m so grateful to all the restaurants and musicians who are stepping up to stand with our federal workers and to provide them with a fun night out with their families.”

The community dinner — which Hucker is calling the Shutdown Social — will be 6:30-9 p.m., Friday, January 11, at the Montgomery Blair High School cafeteria, 51 University Blvd. E, Silver Spring.

Federal employees and contractors affected by the shutdown are urged to RSVP online at

Other county residents are invited to attend and bring a dish to share with the workers, who are not expected to contribute to the dinner. Local musician Joe Uehlein of the U-Liners is organizing a series of performers to provide live music as well.

Hucker has organized many local restaurants to donate food and drinks, including All Set Restaurant & Bar, El Golfo, Fire Station One, Ghar-e-Kabab, Kin Da, McGinty’s Pub, Middle Eastern Cuisine, Pacci’s Pizza, Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant and the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op. Many of these establishments also participate in the annual Silver Spring-Takoma Park Restaurant Week that Hucker organizes every September.

“Providing even just one extra meal can make a difference to these workers,” Hucker said. “Ours is the kind of community where neighbors help neighbors. Many people are asking how they can help these workers and their families. At this potluck, we can all show both our financial and emotional support for these workers whose lives have been disrupted through no fault of their own.”

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Release ID: 19-003
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931