Wednesday marked the fifth day of a partial government shutdown for as many as 800,000 federal workers and contractors who will either be furloughed or work without pay until its end.
With thousands of government workers hailing from the Baltimore area, it dawned on Tim “Chyno” Chin, regional manager at Pinch gourmet Chinese dumplings, that his customers, neighbors and many relatives could struggle to feed themselves and their families post-Christmas.
“I’m shocked that this is happening at this exact time. This is the most penny-pinched time of the year,” Chin, 31, said. “It puts pressure on families.”
Through the end of the shutdown, federal employees with a valid ID badge who dine at the Mount Vernon Marketplace eatery can receive a 50 percent discount of their food orders. Chin said it’s the least they can do to give back to fellow Baltimoreans who are caught in the middle of political squabble in Washington.
“It’s just a way to say ‘Hey, we’re with you, we know that this sucks and we’re all in this together,’” Chin said.
President Donald Trump has vowed not to sign any appropriations bills unless they include $5 billion to build a wall on the border with Mexico, while Democrats say they will refuse to give in to those demands. Negotiations appeared to remain at a standstill Thursday.