Progressive’s Weekend: Furlough Freebies

Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Another week has come and gone. Today, many federal workers will go without a paycheck for the second time. In honor of that, we’re changing up our usual style for the Progressive’s Weekend and highlighting businesses that are offering freebies to those who are working (or not) without pay.


Emeril: Emeril Lagasse’s NOLA Restaurant in the French Quarter is offering a free meal (fried chicken sandwich and gumbo) beginning Jan 28 to federal employees affected by the shutdown with a government/employee ID.

Mawi Tortillerias Metairie: offering a free back of tortillas to federal employees affected by the shutdown.

Mimi’s in the Marigny: offering two free “Trust Me tapas” and two free drinks with a government ID badge or card.


Ruby Slipper Cafe: unpaid federal workers and their families can visit any location of Ruby Slipper Cafe on weekdays to receive a free meal.

Second Harvest: food pantries have extra supplies on hand and are also offering information on utility and rental assistance programs. Call the helpline at 1-855-392-9338

Shahrazad Cafe Magazine St.: offering a number of entrees, including chicken shawarma or gyro sandwich, gyro plate, or lentil soup with one side from 4-7pm each day to federal employees.


AT&T: offering flexible payment options to customers affected by the shutdown to keep cell phones, internet, and television service running.

Sprint: impacted customers can call Sprint’s customer service line to make arrangements to keep service in place.

T-Mobile: payment deferral and flexible payment options are available to support customers affected by the shutdown.

Entergy: payment extensions are available to those affected by the government shutdown. Visit their website for more information.

Cox Communications: customers affected by the shutdown can log into their account on the Cox website, or contact customer service for “Promise to Pay” and “Pay with Extension” options.


Ally Financial: offering assistance such as refunded transaction or NSF fees, waivers of early CD withdrawal penalties, check fee waivers, wire fee waivers, late charge waivers, and payment extensions

Bank of America: personalized financial assistance available by calling 844-219-0690

Better Mortgage: the Shutdown Relief Emergency Refi program “allows federal employees to tap into their home equity for living expenses, and delays loan payments for impacted federal government employees for up to 30 day after the end of the furlough.” Visit their website for more information.

Chase Bank: Impacted customers, including those doing business with impacted federal agencies, can receive help by calling 888-356-0023

Coast Guard Employees Credit Union: contact your local branch for options including furlough loan programs, refinancing options, payment extensions, etc.

Discover: Discover card or loan holders impacted by the shutdown may be eligible to skip a payment or have late fees and interest payments waived. To request assistance, call 800-347-2683.

Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund: furloughed employees can receive small grants and other resources by visiting their website.

Greater New Orleans Federal Credit Union: contact your local branch for options including furlough loan programs, refinancing options, payment extensions, etc.

Naval Air Station JRB Credit Union: contact your local branch for options including furlough loan programs, refinancing options, payment extensions, etc.

Navy Federal Credit Union: Union members who direct deposit their paychecks may be eligible for an interest-free loan if they are impacted by the shutdown. This is available for government contractors who receive paychecks directly from the federal government as well.

University of New Orleans Federal Credit Union: contact your local branch for options including furlough loan programs, refinancing options, payment extensions, etc.

U.S. Bank: offering new, low-rate quick loans for federal employees during the shutdown. This is available if you have any U.S. Bank product. Call 877-760-6046.

Wells Fargo: The bank has offered to “work with individuals and business banking customers whose income is disrupted” by the shutdown.


Audubon: Federal employees can receive free admission for themselves and a guest to Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americas, and the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium by presenting their valid government ID.

Louisiana Children’s Museum: furloughed federal employees and up to three family members receive free admission.

Skyzone: Skyzone in Metairie is offering free jumps to federal employees and up to three immediate family members.

Sugar Roots Farm: *this weekend* (Jan. 26-27) furloughed federal workers and their immediate families get in free, and their children will receive one free horse ride.

Other Services:

Top Knot Beauty Metairie: federal employees receive free haircuts until the shutdown is resolved.

Wash World Elysian Fields: free washing and drying to federal employees who show ID, 24/7, with no limits on the number of loads.

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