Local restaurants offer to help out furloughed workers

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) - It is Day 23 of the partial government shutdown and hundreds of thousands of families went without a paycheck this weekend. In Benton Harbor, local restaurants are stepping up to help out their own.

“It is awful but we have faith,” Elizabeth Koerner said.

Hope and faith are on the minds of furloughed workers across the country.

In Benton Harbor, local restaurants are doing their part to support their own.

“Even though there's not much to celebrate since workers are off or not being paid, we'd like for them to join us here for a half-priced meal and some community support as well,” The Livery’s pub manager Kelly Vega said.

The livery is offering half-priced meals to all furloughed workers and their families.

Across the street, The Mason Jar Cafe is offering workers and their families a free meal just by showing their badge.

“I can't imagine doing a job that sometimes doesn't have much appreciation to begin with and now you're going in every day and not even being paid for it,” owner Jayme Cousins said.

Elizabeth Koerner's husband is in the U.S. Coast Guard and won't be getting paid for the remainder of the shutdown.

They're grateful for the community's support.

“It’s amazing,” Koerner said. “It's really awesome. The community is there whenever you need a hand. We really appreciate it.”

What does she want government officials to know?

“I think it's horrible that they're doing this right after the holidays,” Koerner said. “I would want them to put themselves in our shoes.”

Those at The Mason Jar Cafe want those affected to know they are here for you.

“Please come in and get a meal on us and don't feel bad about it,” Cousins said. “Just take advantage of this opportunity for somebody doing something for you because you're doing so much for everybody else.”

Both restaurants will continue to help furloughed workers and their families with meals until the shutdown ends.

“Until the leadership in this country steps up to take care of these Americans, we as a community will,” Vega said.

Both restaurants will be helping furloughed workers and their families with meals until the shutdown ends.