Furloughed federal workers offered meals at local restaurant

El Paso News

Local organizations Shine On El Paso and Eco El Paso partnered up to host a Federal Employees Family Care Day at the Carnitas Queretaro on Gateway West on Saturday.

According to a Facebook event page, Shine on El Paso purchased meals for federal workers and their families from 3 to 6 p.m.

“Today the direct deposit didn’t come through so everyday is a challenge on what little money we have left,” Senior Correctional Officer Isaac Ortiz said.

Many other federal workers and their families, like Ortiz, are feeling the effects of the shutdown on their paychecks. This is what event coordinators say prompted them to take action.

“We primarily focus on sustainability but in a time in need I felt like we couldn’t sit by and watch our neighbors struggle so I contacted Freddy from Shine on El Paso and I thought it would be a great way to help our city,” Shelby Ruff, President of the Board for Eco El Paso, said. 

Freddy Klayel Avalos, the founder of Shine On El Paso, said the funding came completely through donations to the organizations. 

“There’s a lot of kids here so just for that very reason being able to see the kids eat with their parents that makes it a success already,” Avalos said.

While the families and federal workers say they feel the frustration, they also say things like this event helps boost morale.

“We’re still hanging on and with events like these it’s a big boost to continue government service,” Ortiz said. 

And with no end in sight for this partial government shutdown, the organizations plan to comtinue helping. 

“Both Eco and Shine On El Paso think that the best way to help is if we could establish a food pantry where these families can come and grab some canned goods and create a home cooked meal that will be our long term goal however long this lasts,” Avalos said.

If you’d like to donate to the organizations you can click here

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