Huntsville church continues to assist federal workers after partial shutdown

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The White House announced Monday government workers impacted by the 35-day long partial shutdown will get their back pay by week's end. While many wait for that paycheck, a Huntsville church continues to extend their hand to help those employees get back on their feet.

"We started doing this because of all the federal employees here in the Huntsville area," explained Deacon Lynn Bullard with St. Stephens Episcopal Church. "We wanted to reach out and help in our own way."

Last week, church members transformed a room into a dining hall and offered furloughed employees and those working without pay a free dinner on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

"It's been very heartwarming for both the people coming as well as for the parishioners who volunteer in the kitchen," said Bullard. "It does a heart good as they say."

This past Friday, President Trump and Congress reached a three-week deal to keep some sections of the government afloat, but two missed paychecks can be a big hole in the wallets of many.

"Our plan is to do dinners again this week and then this way they'll have a chance to have a dinner before they get their paycheck," said Bullard.

The church hopes another shutdown won't happen, but if a permanent resolution can't be reached by February 15, they are thinking of continuing to offer the meals.

Dinners are from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday weather permitting. Anyone interested in attending is asked to call the church's office by 1 p.m. for headcount purposes.

Due to inclement weather Tuesday, Jan 29, St. Stephens Episcopal Church will announce on Facebook if that evening's dinner will be canceled.

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