The US Government shutdown is now the longest in American history, meaning hundreds of thousands of government employees have been furloughed. Without a paycheck, these employees have had to turn to alternative means of making ends meet until the shutdown is resolved. Houston is home to quite a few of these furloughed federal employees, meaning many of our neighbors are facing a difficult time.
To help make this difficult time a little bit easier, many Houston-area restaurants are offering to feed furloughed federal employees free meals on certain days or each day of the shutdown.
Here’s a list of Houston restaurants offering free or cheap meals for furloughed federal workers who present a valid federally-issued ID:
Art of Coffee: free cup of coffee!
Axelrad: free canned to unpaid federal government employees.
Fuzzy’s Pizza: half-off any purchase for furloughed employees.
Bistro Provence: free lunch Monday through Friday with choice of one of two main course dishes.
Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys: offering 50% off for furloughed federal workers.
BCK Kitchen & Cocktail Adventures: 20% off food and beverages.
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations: 20% off food and beverages.
Michael’s Cookie Jar: a warm cookie can make anyone feel better. Out-of-work government employees can get one free cookie at any Michael’s Cookie Jar location.
Gringos: free meals of up to $75 for families affected by the furlough. Reservations required.
Decatur Bar & Pop-Up Factory: free canned beer OR half-off one cocktail.
Doing Our Part Food Truck: offering free lunch for TSA employees working without pay at Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Ouisie’s Table: once a week, furloughed federal employees can get a free main course menu item for either lunch or dinner.
Poitín Bar & Kitchen: one free happy hour bar snack per furloughed federal employee daily from 4-6 pm.
Rosewater: the bar just outside of NASA’s Johnson Space Center has a special reduced-price drink menu for furloughed employees.
La Grange: 25% off all food items for federal employees.
Riel: furloughed federal employees can get half-off Riel’s happy hour menu between 5 and 6:30 pm.
Sweet T’s Diner: offering free meals to the Freeport Coastguard.
Fish Company Taco: free lunch for government workers.
Pipeline Pizza: free pizza for furloughed employees.
Urban Bricks: free pizza, pasta or panini to government workers every Friday.
Lasagna House: choice of pasta bowl and iced tea for free.
Rainbow Lodge: free bowl of smoked duck gumbo between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm Tuesday through Friday with purchase of beverage and gratuity.
D’Amico’s: one free lunch OR dinner meal Monday through Thursday.
Cottonwood: 25% off all food for furloughed employees.
Runaway Cafe: serving free food to Coast Guard members.
This Is It: free breakfast and coffee to furloughed employees.
In addition to these restaurants, food banks in the area are stepping up to help furloughed federal workers:
Houston Food Bank: unpaid federal workers can visit one of 600 Houston Food Banks in the area for food assistance. Use the Houston Food Bank app to find a location near you.
Cy-Fair Helping Hands: any federal employees living in the Cypress-Fairbanks area can receive food assistance at the Helping Hands food pantry, open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.
Kids Meals: local nonprofit Kids Meals is offering free food assistance to unpaid federal employees for their children under 6 years old.
Pets have to eat too!
Pearland Pets: taking appointments to help feed furloughed feds’ furry friends.
Know any other restaurants helping furloughed federal employees out during the shutdown? Let us know in the comments.