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

For Immediate Release: Friday, January 11, 2019

From the Office of Councilmember Tom Hucker     

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

ROCKVILLE, Md., January 11, 2019—The shutdown of the federal government has reached three weeks, 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 tonight, Friday, January 11, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Montgomery Blair High School cafeteria, 51 University Blvd. E, Silver Spring.

Nonprofits and restaurants that have committed food for tomorrow night include Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant, All Set Restaurant & Bar, Busboys & Poets, Chipotle, El Golfo Restaurant, Firestation 1, Ghar-E-Kabab, Kaldi's Social House, Kin Da, Mamma Lucia, Manna, Manny & Olga's, Mark's Kitchen, McGinty's, Middle Eastern Cuisine, Pacci's Neapolitan Pizzeria, the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-Op, 4 Corners Pub and Port Au Prince.

Music for the dinner was organized by Joe Uehlein with short performances by the Northwood High School Drumline, Chris Urquiaga, Joe Uehlein, Karen Collins & Fred Feinstein, Jesse Palidofsky and Bill Crandall.

There will also be a resources section for affected workers, with representatives and information from several county and state departments, utility companies and others.

Under state food safety regulations, home-cooked food cannot be served at this event. However, attendees are encouraged to bring pre-packaged food from a store or restaurant. Also, donations may be made to A Wider Circle.

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

“Ours is the kind of community where neighbors help neighbors. Many people are asking how they can help these workers and their families,” Hucker said. “At this dinner, 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: 19-009
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931