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A new website will allow you to buy a beer for a furloughed federal worker amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. The project, known as “Pay It Furloughed,” was launched Sunday and so far has seen more than 2,500 beers donated.
Started by food writer Nevin Martell and several other partners, the plan was kicked off with an initial $1,000 and has continued to grow ever since.
“Beer makes everything better, so we’re buying local craft brews for federal employees impacted by the government shutdown,” states PayItFurloughed.com.
After a donation of $7.50 is made—which covers the cost of the beer plus sales tax, credit card processing fess, and website maintenance—a furloughed worker can show up at participating D.C. establishments with their government ID to claim their drink.
“Stressed out federal employees and contractors, who are furloughed or working without pay, score free liquid therapy. Small businesses hit hard by the shutdown get some relief,” the website adds. “And you feel awesome. It’s a win-win-win.”
Free beer makes everything a little bit better – even a shutdown. Here are some furloughed federal employees enjoying free beers @AtlasBrewWorks courtesy of your donations to @payitfurloughed. Thanks for your generosity! @MessHallDC @erickmsanchez @3advance #PayItFurloughed pic.twitter.com/cPdc6SZZjz— payitfurloughed (@payitfurloughed) January 15, 2019
Justin Cox is the founder of Atlas Brew Works, one of the bars involved. Cox told the Daily Dot that he jumped at the chance to help federal workers when learning of the project.
“The creators of the site reached out to Atlas about being involved in the project and it was a natural fit,” Cox said. “While buying a beer for furloughed workers won’t alleviate rent being due without a paycheck, it will hopefully help their spirits while in this tough time.”
Pay It Furloughed, which has seen roughly 300 beers claimed so far, has also stressed that there is no limit to the number of beers an individual can claim.
Once the shutdown ends, federal employees will have seven days after they receive their paychecks to continue claiming any available drinks. Martell has told CNN that any leftover beers will be held on “virtual ice” for inevitable future shutdowns.
If beer wasn’t enough, Pay It Furloughed is also working with numerous D.C. restaurants in the hopes of launching a similar project to provide meals for federal workers as well.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.