A Syrian refugee is offering free meals at two of his restaurants in Tennessee to federal employees who have been affected by the ongoing shutdown of the United States government.
Yassin Terou who owns ‘Yassin’s Falafel House’ in Knoxville said he felt obliged to do what he could to assist federal employees and their families.
He told Good Morning America: “It’s important for me to provide free meals because these guys are our brothers and sisters, and they already did the work, and they aren’t getting paid.
“For someone like me who is living the American dream in the American land I believe every hard worker should reach his goal and have a good level of life.”
Mr Terou announced his free-meal policy on Yassin’s Falafel House Facebook page, stating: “We are more than happy to serve them because they been serving us all these days and we are not going to let them alone”.
The successful restaurateur recently won the prize for Reader’s Digest’s ‘Nicest Places in America’ award.
Mr Terou said that at least 10 people visited for free food since he launched the initiative on Monday 14 January, and added that his restaurant will remain open for any federal employee until the government reopens.
The government workers can order anything from the menu by showing their employee ID for verification.
Mr Terou opened his restaurant in downtown Knoxville in 2014.
He has since opened a second restaurant and has quickly become a pillar of the local community.
The federal government is currently in the longest-ever shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for funding to build a wall along the Mexican border.
The shutdown entered day 28 on Friday 18 January, and has affected up to 800,000 federal employees.