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Local restaurant offering free meals to federal workers amid government shutdown

10 months 5 days 10 hours ago Wednesday, January 09 2019 Jan 9, 2019 January 09, 2019 6:51 PM January 09, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Orders are up at the Ruby Slipper, but there's something special about this food.

"We don't ask questions," said general manager Rafael Monascal. "They just come in and say they work for the government, they show a business card or ID and we just feed them."

The franchise is giving free meals to federal employees not getting paid amid the government shutdown--employees like Jay Angel.

"Over the course of the last 20 years, we've been through lots of shutdowns, but I've never missed a paycheck before," Angel said.

Angel measures river levels with the US Geological Survey. He has two kids in college and is in jeopardy of losing his home.

"My landlord, thank God, is willing to work with me. But how long is that going to last?" he said.

He says one of the reasons he got into government work was because of the stability, but now he has no idea about his future.

"I'm worried because this can go on for a long time and we're going to see more and more people like me who are going to pay heavy costs, and it's scary."

The Ruby Slipper has been feeding families like the Angel's all week and doesn't plan on stopping until the shut down is over.

"It's something that we're very passionate about and as long as it takes, we'll be doing it," said Monascal.

A small drop in the bucket for some, but a big gesture for those who are struggling.

"I think it's a gift. I'd like to thank the Ruby Slipper so much for caring," Angel said.

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