Customers Donate To Ogden Cafe So Federal Employees Can Eat Free

Jan 17, 2019, 9:00 PM | Updated: 9:16 pm

OGDEN, Utah – As the government shutdown keeps federal workers either at home or working without pay, restaurants that surround the federal building are feeling the pinch.

“It mostly hurts my heart that this is where we are in America right now, that we can’t even get along well enough to actually do the right thing,” said Anna Davidson, who runs Jessie Jean’s with her husband, Ron.

Last week, the restaurant started offering discounted food and coffee to federal workers. While the restaurant deals with the loss of sales, Davidson said it was important to take care of people in the community having a hard time.

“This is not about making money. This is about giving back and using food as the medium,” Davidson said.

Customers at the restaurant were inspired.

“We sink and swim together,” said Amir Jackson. “You may not be able to do everything, but you can do something and that something does matter.”

On Wednesday, Jackson went to the restaurant and offered $50 to help offset the costs of offering discounted food. Word spread and others started offering donations too. By Thursday, they had reached $170, including money from a woman in Texas who had heard what was happening.

“It was amazing. It was just a super-amazing impact and I’m like, ‘there really are good people,’ but we’ve got to get all these good people together and get it out. She touched my heart in a way, just with a phone call that was like pretty amazing,” Davidson said.

Thursday, the restaurant offered free coffee and tacos to any federal workers who came in the door. They hope to be able to continue offering the food as long as people keep donating money.

“There are amazing people in this world. We’ve just got to get them to the forefront,” she said.

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Customers Donate To Ogden Cafe So Federal Employees Can Eat Free