Federal employees on furlough in New York City don’t need to worry about going hungry: Cochinita Tacos in Clinton Hill is giving free burritos to furloughed workers for the duration of the government shutdown that began last week.
When the federal government closed on October 1, because of congressional arguments over the budget, Cochinita tweeted: “FREE BURRITO for FEDERAL EMPLOYEES! We support you!” Since then, Cochinita has given free burritos to any customer who comes in and shows their federal ID, and will continue to do so until the shutdown ends, according to the restaurant’s owners.
“We’ve had a few dozen employees come in, from FDI workers, to federal judges, to rank-and-file employees,” said Tyler Combelic, 29, Cochinita’s manager.
Tyler and the restaurant’s owner, Adam Frank, wanted to show support for the workers who have been left temporarily unemployed by the shutdown, including Tyler’s sister, Alexa Combelic, who works for the office of Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy as a legislative correspondent. They said they put a lot of thought into what the most appropriate response could be. The answer was to help out with a meal here and there.
“The owner and myself know people who are personally affected by the shutdown,” Tyler said.
So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive, said Tyler, who is a political activist, and works with organizations like Occupy Wall Street when he isn’t managing. Many people from the neighborhood have stopped by to commend them for their efforts, he added.
“We were looking to help and start a dialogue about it,” Tyler said.
Hopefully, Congress will resolve the budget crisis quickly. But until then, he said that you can grab a great lunch at Cochinita, located at 922 Fulton Street. To get a free burrito, all you have to do is present your federal ID when you order.
“You can get any burrito on the entire menu, whatever you want, on the house,” Tyler said.