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Councilmembers, firefighters and nonprofits organize community dinner and resource fair to continue supporting federal workers and contractors

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 4, 2019

From the Office of Councilmember Tom Hucker

ROCKVILLE, Md., Feb. 4, 2019—The federal government is reopened through February 15, but hundreds of thousands of federal employees and contractors continue to deal with the effects of the federal shutdown and the uncertainty around its final resolution.

In Montgomery County, Councilmembers Tom Hucker and Will Jawando, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), Manna Food Center, Nourish Now and Chef Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen are working together to organize nonprofits, businesses and volunteers to provide impacted workers and their families with free dinner, entertainment and access to resources to make sure they know the community supports them.

They have organized a community dinner and resource fair, which will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, at the Montgomery Blair High School cafeteria, 51 University Blvd. E in Silver Spring.

“Even though the shutdown has paused, federal employees and contractors continue to struggle with its consequences,” Hucker said. “Workers have contacted my office for help with outstanding bills, health insurance issues, eviction notices, mental health support and even more. We are coming together because Montgomery County is such a caring and supportive community. I’m so grateful to the government and nonprofit partners, service providers, businesses and volunteers who are stepping up to continue supporting our federal workers through this difficult time.”

“The impact felt by our many residents affected by the government shutdown is far from over,” said Councilmember Will Jawando. “On January 26th, my office partnered with Reid Temple AME Church to host a Town Hall and Resource Fair in White Oak. Person after person talked about the financial and emotional stress they were experiencing as they reached the end of a second pay period without receiving a paycheck. I am extremely grateful to all the nonprofits, County agencies, and public utilities who took the time to attend and connect folks with services to help meet their needs. While we know that some will not fully recover from the damage caused by the shutdown, I look forward to joining Councilmember Hucker and our nonprofit community to continue providing this much needed support to our friends and neighbors.”

“Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is proud to co-sponsor another event to support the thousands of furloughed workers during these tough times,” said MCFRS Chief Scott Goldstein. “As we respond to their emergencies when they call 911, we also respond to their times of troubles during the federal government shutdown. We are proud to honor the respect and trust of the residents and wish to keep all engaged in the community.”

“Manna’s Community Food Rescue program is dedicated to feeding more and wasting less food in Montgomery County,” said Jackie DeCarlo, chief executive officer at Manna Food Center. “We’re pleased to continue our efforts with Montgomery County to help families impacted by the shutdown. We stand ready to help any resident in need of food.

“Because of Nourish Now’s incredible Food Donor Partners, it is a privilege to be able to donate hundreds of high-quality dinners to individuals and families affected by the longest shutdown in the United States history. It is an honor to work alongside the County Council and agencies throughout our County during these pressing times.”

“World Central Kitchen's #ChefsForFeds initiative has served hundreds of thousands of meals across the country to federal workers and families impacted by the shutdown,” said World Central Kitchen Executive Director Nate Mook. “We’re proud to see Montgomery County take part in #ChefsForFeds and set up this dinner for the many federal workers in their community.”

Federal employees and contractors affected by the shutdown are urged to RSVP for the community dinner and resource fair online at

Other County residents are invited to attend and bring a donation of non-perishable or canned goods to share with affected families.

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Release ID: 19-042
Media Contact: Sonya Healy, 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931