Nearly a dozen local businesses are teaming up with Yelp San Diego to provide a free luncheon for hundreds of federal workers affected by the government shutdown on Wednesday.
The event at the San Diego Air and Space Museum will feed at least 500 people who have not been receiving a paycheck as the government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, stretched into its fifth week.
The free lunch was pulled together in less than a week by Yelp’s San Diego Community Management Team led by Brad Bohensky and Danny Wurst.
The two wanted to find a way to help and began texting, calling and emailing local eateries last Friday. They were happy to find several local businesses agreed to participate within hours.
"Instant clap back of 'Yeah, we want in,' 'We want to help,' the generosity was overwhelming," Wurst said.
Those businesses include: Cali Comfort BBQ, Lucha Libre Taco Shop, Donut Bar, El Pollo Grill, Valley Farm Market, The Pioneer, Corbin's Q, Coop's West Texas BBQ, The Waterfront Bar & Grill, Grand Ol BBQ Y Asado and Simsim Outstanding Shawarma.
To attend, workers must RSVP through Yelp's event page. Their government issued ID will be checked at the door and matched to their RSVP on the day of the event.
Attendees are able to bring a loved one with them to the luncheon, which is from noon to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Donut Bar chef Santiago Campa thanked Yelp for giving his eatery a way to help affected federal workers.
"They're the unsung heroes that keep our whole society kind of working," Campa said, "Whenever suddenly they're left out in the cold, literally, that’s not cool. So we gotta do our part."
Bohensky and Wurst said the goal is to feed as many people affected by the government shutdown as possible and if demand for the event is overwhelming, they may expand the event to accommodate more people.
"It’s just such a weird time right now and there’s a lot of people struggling so we just wanted to use our community as a resource to really help those who are really in need," Wurst said.
For more information on the luncheon and to RSVP, click here.