Local Restaurants Offer Free Meals For Impacted Government Employees Amid Shutdown


NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KFTA) — Local restaurants are offering free meals to those who haven’t received a paycheck  because of the government shutdown.

Mel’s Diner in Prairie Grove says it wants to give back to people who may not be able to pay the bills this month.

Government employees and their families affected by the shutdown can pull up a chair between 8 a.m-2 p.m, and enjoy a hot meal at no charge.

Owner Brandon Vansickel says several people have already stopped in.

“My wife was the genius behind it. She saw someone in another state in a restaurant — was giving 20% off and she said, ‘how can they afford 20% off if they’re not getting paid at all, why don’t we just do it all the way around?'” Vansickel said.

Vansickel says some customers have even left extra money for their meals to pay for the next government employee that comes in.

Comedy club The Grove in Lowell is also offering free meals for government employees and their families.

Both The Grove and Mel’s Diner ask that you bring in your government issued I.D.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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