JFK, LaGuardia terminals offering free meals to TSA employees working without pay during government shutdown

Photo by Jeff Yapalater


Terminals at both JFK and LaGuardia Airports are showing their gratitude for the federal workers who come to work despite not getting paid during the government shutdown. The terminals are providing free meals to those who are working their regular shifts.

In some cases, terminal operators are solely providing food through their management of the terminal, as is the case of JFK Terminal One, TOGA, according to Operations Manager Klaudia Fitzgerald.

“This is something the terminal is happy to do to help ease some of hardship that TSA, Customs Border Protection and Federal Aviation Administration employees are feeling with the deprivation of a paycheck,” Fitzgerald said.

Terminal One has been providing breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Food is purchased outside of the airport, delivered and then brought to the employee break rooms. Roughly 60 pizzas are delivered throughout the day for distribution to these federal workers who are very happy to receive a special thanks.

Terminal 4, JFKIAT, is also doing its part with the help of Delta, and The Terminal Four Airline Consortium (TFAC) with its own schedule of food delivery.

JetBlue and Terminal 8 are said to be doing a program, but the details were not immediately available.

Last week, LaGuardia Gateway Partners of LaGuardia Terminal B supplied federal workers with hot trays of Italian food from Antonio’s Italian restaurant. Takeaway plates were seen throughout the terminal as workers made their way to their break rooms.

Additionally, select vendors in the terminals are offering additional discounts to the workers. Some vendors are offering 20 percent off retail pricing, while others are discounting as much as 50 percent off prices during the shutdown.

Various national chains are offering a standard 10 percent employee discount for airport workers with security badges and a bit more for the federal group.

There was word that there may be free or discounted rides offered on the AirTrain, but there has yet to be an official announcement.

Workers who come to work and put their time in because of a sense of responsibility are recognized by the management of the terminals and food service vendors, and likewise these workers appreciate this token of appreciation which helps keep morale high during this uncertain period of employment.

Restaurants or food purveyors who wish to donate food for federal workers at the airports can email jeff@airportvoice.com to be put in touch with the right people for food sharing at the airports.

Jeff Yapalater is the editor of Airport Voice, a sister publication of QNS.