8 celebrities who are helping federal employees during the government shutdown

Ellen DeGeneres surprises furloughed federal workers.

Ellen DeGeneres surprises furloughed federal workers.
  • Jon Bon Jovi and KISS’s Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are offering free meals for government workers at their respective restaurants.
  • Stephen Colbert is selling mugs to fund meals for federal employees, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” is hiring a different federal employee every night until the shutdown ends.
  • Ellen DeGeneres surprised furloughed federal workers who started a cheesecake business to make ends meet with $20,000.
  • Former President George W. Bush bought pizza for his Secret Service detail.

The partial government shutdown over border wall funding has become the longest in United States history. As 800,000 government employees go longer without pay, these celebrities are pitching in to help them.

Jon Bon Jovi’s non-profit restaurant JBJ Soul Kitchen is offering free meals to federal employees

JBJ Soul Kitchen is a non-profit restaurant in New Jersey. Patrons can volunteer as a form of payment, or just enjoy a meal whether they can pay the suggested donation or not.

“In line with our mission, Federal workers are encouraged to join us for a delicious meal and to learn about additional support and resources available in our community,” JBJ Soul Kitchen wrote in an Instagram post.

Stephen Colbert is selling mugs that say ‘Don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my paycheck’ with the proceeds helping support government employees

“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert announced that the show’s online store would be selling mugs that say “Don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my paycheck,” a riff on the popular mug that reads “Don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.” The proceeds benefit celebrity chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, which has been providing thousands of free meals for furloughed workers in Washington, DC, every day, according to CNBC.

“It’s great for a hot cup of morning bourbon,” Colbert said. “We all have our ways to get through the shutdown.”

Ellen Degeneres surprised furloughed federal workers with $20,000

Sisters Nikki and Jaqi, both government workers from Oxon Hill, Maryland, told Ellen DeGeneres about how they started a cheesecake business called “The Furlough Cheesecake” to make extra money during the shutdown. DeGeneres then surprised them with $20,000 courtesy of Cheerios.

“That’s to buy one cheesecake,” she said. “So you get that $20,000 and you send me a cheesecake, because I love cheesecake.”

Jimmy Kimmel is hiring a federal worker to work on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” every day until the shutdown ends

John Kostelnik, a law enforcement prison guard at the Federal Correctional Complex in Victorville, California, joined the band of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” for a night as a tambourine player.

“Do you object to being used as a pawn in this fight over a wall?” Kimmel asked him.

“Absolutely,” Kostelnik said.

KISS members Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are offering free meals to TSA agents at their chain of Rock & Brews restaurants

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS.

Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS.
Rock & Brews Restaurants/Facebook

TSA employees can get a free pulled pork sandwich or strawberry fields salad at all standalone Rock & Brews restaurants, a chain co-founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band KISS.

“While the TSA continues to work on our behalf without pay, we want to make sure that we can at least provide them with a delicious meal to show our support,” Stanley said in a video on the Rock & Brews Facebook page. “We want you to eat well because you do so much for us.”

Michael Moore is offering free movies and refreshments at two Michigan theaters for government employees and their families

“It’s not much, but I’ve opened up my two movie theaters in Michigan for free to all federal government employees and their families,” the author and documentary filmmaker wrote on Twitter. “Popcorn and pop is free, too. The bigger issue: Trump must end his shutdown now.”

Former President George W. Bush bought pizza for his Secret Service detail

“@LauraWBush and I are grateful to our Secret Service personnel and the thousands of Federal employees who are working hard for our country without a paycheck,” the former president posted. “And we thank our fellow citizens who are supporting them.”

He also called on “leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown.”

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