Freebies and deals to help furloughed workers during the government shutdown

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Our area has a large number of federal workers affected by the federal shutdown and they're part of the 800,000 federal employees that have either been furloughed or working without pay since Dec. 21.

They won't receive their next paychecks until the government reopens.

With no clear end in sight, a growing number of businesses are stepping in to offer everything from specials to freebies to assistance.

First, cell phone service. Most of the major wireless providers, including Verizon, Spring and AT&T, are working with government employees offering short term assistance or flexible payments.

Banks, credit card companies, lenders and loan servicers also have assistance options available. Experts say it's best to take advantage of this help before missing payments. Included in the list: Bank of America, Chase, Discover, Wells Fargo and more.

Locally, many cultural institutions are offering free admission to federal workers with ID. From the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the Franklin Institute to the Museum of the American Revolution - there's a growing list.

Some local restaurants are also offering free meals. The Pineville Tavern in Bucks County and Pineville Fishtown are offering free fried chicken for affected government workers.

At the Red Owl Tavern on Chestnut Street in Center City, show your government ID and an email offer to your server to receive a complimentary meal for kids under 12 years old.

Federal Donuts is offering federal government employees a free donut and cup of coffee. Limit one order per day with valid government issue ID until the shutdown ends. The deal is available at all locations.

The Greater Philadelphia YMCA is deferring membership fees for furloughed employees and their families during the shutdown.

Any fees for the month of February will be deferred at all 17 locations.

They are also inviting non-member government employees and their families affected by the shutdown to come to the Y for the month of February free of charge.

If the shutdown ends within the next month, the offer stands until the end of February.

To qualify for this program, federal employees need only present a federal employee ID.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

And if you just want to do your part and buy a furloughed federal worker a beer, there's a new website called where people are coming together to buy local craft brews for federal employees impacted by the government shutdown.

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