Low Country businesses and organizations step in to provide for furloughed workers


Ryan Okpych

A sign reads “Free food for Coast Guard” on a menu board during the 2019 government shutdown.

By Ryan Okpych, Summerville High School

As the government shutdown continues into its 35th day, many Low Country restaurants and stores have begun to provide for workers affected by the shutdown, such as those working at the Charleston International Airport with TSA.

“To the many businesses and individuals in the greater Charleston community who have reached out and asked how they can help, thank you for your kindness. Your gestures of giving and support are appreciated and mean a great deal to the entire airport family,” Paul G. Campbell Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Charleston County Aviation Authority, wrote in a press release.

More businesses have continued to provide for those affected by the shutdown as it continues to drag on with no end in sight.

One of the efforts to help locally was put together by Taziki’s, Verde, and Rodney Scott’s BBQ.

“Taziki’s Café has a strong belief in helping those in need,” McCall Penny, Director of Catering Sales and Marketing of Taziki’s Café, said.

“When we see a need and feel like we can help we do. One of the local Taziki’s owners reached out to two other Charleston restaurants, Verde & Rodney Scott BBQ. All three of us jumped in and fed the TSA over several days,” Penny added.

The help doesn’t stop in the peninsula, though. Places in Summerville have also started to help out, one of those being Low Country Fish Camp.

“It’s just a love for our community and country. Here at Low Country Fish Camp, the community is what keeps us going,” an employee at the restaurant said.

“As a small business, we have gotten to know our customers and clientele very well. Everyone that walks in the door immediately becomes family, and that’s the American dream,” they continued.

Not only are places offering free food for people, but their pets as well.

Charleston Animal Society posted on their Facebook page that they have free pet food for those who are in need during the shutdown.

“As a nonprofit that benefits from the generosity of federal workers through the Combined Federal Campaign, we would like to pay it forward by opening our pet food bank shelves to those impacted by the government shutdown,” the nonprofit posted on their page.

Impacts of the shutdown have been felt by SHS students, one of them being Candra Workman, a senior whose parents both work in the Coast Guard. They are not receiving paychecks.

“I’ve never worried about money in my entire life, but now I’ve started worrying,” Workman said.\

“The things that places are doing around town definitely take some weight off our shoulders,” Workman added

“Everybody knows somebody affected by this situation, and hopefully it will be resolved very soon, because these are the families and individuals giving their time to protect and support our community,” said a spokesperson for Low Country Fish Camp.

This story was originally published on Wave Breaker on January 25, 2019.