José Andrés Feeds Furloughed Federal Workers at Jaleo in Bethesda

Chef José Andrés has pledged to feed furloughed federal workers at his six D.C. area restaurants, including Jaleo in Bethesda, until the government shutdown ends.

On Dec. 21, a day before the government officially shutdown, President Donald Trump tweeted that if the democrats didn’t agree to allocate money towards a $5.6 billion dollar border wall, then the government shutdown would “last for a very long time.”

Andrés, who was nominated for a 2018 Nobel Peace Prize after leading an effort to provide thousands of meals to Puerto Ricans impacted by Hurricane Maria, was quick to respond to the president’s tweet.

“And I will offer again Free Sandwiches to the poor men and women of the federal government, republicans and democrats, at every restaurant of mine in [D.C.] for lunch until they get paid again!” Andrés tweeted.

Throughout the government shutdown, federal workers who show their government I.D.’s at Andrés’s D.C. restaurants from 2 to 5 p.m. receive a free sandwich (each location also has vegetarian options).

At Jaleo restaurants, furloughed workers can eat a free Spanish sandwich called Flauta de Jamon Serrano; it comes with tomato paste, ham and cheese.

Sebastian Neira, the general manager of Jaleo said that the reactions from customers in Bethesda have been positive.

“What we want to do is show some support to the community—something that we have always been extremely passionate about as a company,” said Neira. “We know that there are people that are not going through the best of times right now. And we think for them to be able to come in, and join us in our restaurant, eating one of these sandwiches is something that would definitely help out at this moment.”


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Deirdre Byrne

About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.


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