VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — For the third time since the shutdown began, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office opened their kitchen and their hearts to federal workers in need.
“This means a lot,” said Andy Stanford, a federal employee. “You don’t realize how much people care about you until you need the help.”
Volunteers from the sheriff’s office and the community put on their aprons and whipped up a big dinner Monday night.
“We got barbecue, we got hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, cole slaw,” said Chief Deputy Rocky Holcomb. “A lot of these folks are very prideful folks but we want them to understand that we’re just here to help them get through a rough time.”
Federal employees 10 On Your Side spoke to said the event is humbling.
“They’re sending us home with whole rotisserie chickens, a second meal, as well as a gift card to Kroger,” said Audra Snowden, another federal employee. “It’s overwhelming but at the same time, I’m just so appreciative that there’s people out in the community looking out for us.”
Although these workers are back on the job, the possibility of another shutdown isn’t far from their minds.
“A little scared, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Stafford said.
“I guess it’s a time of apprehension,” Snowden said. “I just need to make sure that once this paycheck comes through, I have a financial plan in place.”
While the future is uncertain, the sheriff’s office said they’ll be ready to step in again, if needed.
“If we go back to a shutdown and these folks need help and we can feed them, then we’ll be here feeding them,” Holcomb said. “If we can touch one or two families and help them out then it’s a success.”
The federal workers tell 10 On Your Side they expect to get their back pay by the end of the week.