HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The partial government shutdown has lasted more than a month. If it continues through Friday, essential federal employees who are working without pay will miss their second paycheck. Many of these employees work in airports. The team at the Huntsville International Airport wants to do something to help them.
There are about 80 federal employees at the Huntsville International Airport who are coming to work every day and not getting paid.
“If they didn’t come to work then, we wouldn’t have the security,” said Jana Kruner, Huntsville International Airport Public Relations Manager. We could not allow people to continue to fly if the tower weren’t operational, then there’s no one directing those flights. Without them, we can’t operate.”
As soon as the shutdown began, the airport got a plan off the ground to provide breakfast and lunch to these employees. Now, businesses are raising their hands to help with food deliveries.
“Last week we actually got a call from Phil Sandoval’s, and he was the first one who stepped up and then after he did we’ve gotten calls from Donatos Pizza, Nothing But Noodles, Five Guys,” Kruner added. “So we’ve actually got restaurants scheduled out till next week.”
The airport is organizing a gift card drive, called HSV Cares, to provide financial assistance. Because they are federal employees, there are strict regulations in place about what they can accept.
“They have to be in increments of $20 or less and they also have to be to a specific store – no Visa gift cards, no Master Cards,” Kruner explained.
Airport leaders say the most requested kind of gift cards are for places where employees will be able to buy gas or groceries.
People can drop off those gift cards at the administrative office at the airport, and they do not need to go through security to get to this area of the airport. The office is on the second floor next to where people check in at the Four Points by Sheraton.
Airport officials hope their plan takes off with the community so they can help these employees as much as possible.