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Local Hyatt properties offer federal workers free meals as government shutdown rolls on

Posted at 9:32 AM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 16:00:06-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - As the partial government shutdown continues into day 27, the Manchester Grand Hyatt, along with other Hyatt properties in San Diego, came together Thursday to show their support for local federal workers.

On Thursday morning, employees with Hyatt set up in a patio outside of the USO area in front of Terminal 2 at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field and began serving meals to TSA agents, air traffic controllers and Customs and Border Protection officers.

“It’s a tough time right now and these individuals are the ones that keep us safe,” said Shane Nicolopoulos, the general manager of Andaz San Diego. “Looking around, you would never even tell that these individuals are affected by the government shutdown. It’s inspiration and we’re very excited to be here and be able to support.”

Nicolopoulus said his goal is to motivate other companies to do more to help support the federal workers during the longest government shutdown in our nation’s history.

Teams from Hyatt properties are serving breakfast burritos, drinks and cookies from the Manchester Gran Hyatt’s catering team for breakfast. They’re also purchasing pizza from Landini’s in Little Italy to serve for lunch and dinner until 6:30 p.m.

“It’s just amazing the people who have come forward and offered us help,” said Ron Gerber, lead transportation security officer at San Diego’s airport. “I had a good friend quit two days ago, with one day’s notice. She said, ‘I can’t afford childcare, so I have to take care of my children and I can’t get off, so I have to quit.’”

Gerber, who has been a TSA agent for 14 years, said he has had to dip into his savings account just to make ends meet during this shutdown.

“Up until a couple of days ago, we weren’t allowed to accept anything,” he said. “We need the help. There’s a lot of young people and they definitely need the help starting out with families and they don’t have a support system, they don’t have the savings.”

Gerber said he’s extremely thankful to the Hyatt teams for lending a helping hand during the rough time.

“It’s definitely appreciated,” said Gerber. “It’s just amazing that they stepped up to do that.”