Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Deals and Free Offers for Furloughed Government Employees

As we’re in the midst of the longest government shutdown ever, local businesses are showing their support to furlough government employees. As they wait for the shutdown to end to finally get paid, here are just a few specials going on:

PS, if you hear of any others, let us know!

Free pizza or salad at MOD Pizza

On Jan. 27, all furloughed government employees with proper ID and one guest will be treated to a free MOD-sized pizza or salad. All Florida locations,

Free ice cream at Hoffman’s Chocolates

On Jan. 27, Hoffman’s Chocolates will be offering a free ice cream cone or cup with a topping to all furloughed government employees with proper I.D. and one guest. All locations,

Food assistance at Palm Beach County Schools

Children of families impacted by the shutdown could qualify for free or reduced lunch due. Lunches are typically priced a little over $2 at elementary and secondary schools, but free and reduced lunches of 40 cents are available. Breakfast is always free. Apply online at

Free Meal at Boynton Diner

For employees as well as contract workers, just show your government ID and your meal is on them. 500 E. Woolbright Road, Boynton Beach; 561/364-1819;

West Palm beach utilities payment extensions

The city announced that federal employees who have not been paid due to the shutdown will be “exempt from disconnection of public utilities service for the duration of the shutdown.” They will also be granted payment extensions, payment arrangements, and late and disconnection fees will be waived. Must show proof of residency and a $0 paycheck. Call the Public Utilities Customer Service Department at 561/822-1300.

Lake Clarke Shores utilities payment deferral

Furloughed employees are eligible to defer utility payments until the government reopens. The town is also offering a repayment plan and waiving any late fees. Must show government-issued ID and a copy of their most recent pay stub. Call Lake Clarke Shores Town Hall at 561/964-1515.

Free food for dogs and cats

Tri-County Animal Rescue is offering free dog and cat food for furloughed government employees. Pick up times are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday to Sunday. The rescue is closed on Monday and Wednesdays. Must have ID or proof of employment. 21287 Boca Rio Road, Boca Raton; 561/482-8110;

Free haircuts at Salon Edge

Participating stylists at Salon Edge in Boca Raton are offering free haircuts to furloughed government employees. Must show ID or a $0 pay stub. Salon Edge, 6006 SW 18th St. B7, Boca Raton; 561/750-8090;

Laugh for free at Improv U

If you could use a laugh, Improv U in Delray Beach is offering free classes and shows to federal government employees on furlough. 105 NW 5th Ave, Delray Beach; 844/561-4242;

Free food and drink at Subculture Group venues

The Subculture Group announced on social media that federal workers impacted by the shutdown and their immediate families are invited to eat for free at all of their establishments (Subculture Coffee, Dada, Dubliner, Kapow!, Respectable Street, to name a few). It’s recommended that guests call venue beforehand to double check what each one is offering. Must show ID, one visit per day, no alcohol.

$20 at Rocco’s Tacos

UPDATE: This special has been extended through the end of the shutdown.

This one ends Jan. 20, so go while you can! Government employees with proper ID will be treated to a $20, one-time credit to use at any of the Mexican-themed restaurants. Alcoholic drinks are exempt.

Utility bill deferral in Boynton Beach

The City of Boynton Beach will defer water, wastewater, reclaimed water, irrigation water, stormwater, and solid waste fees and waive any associated late fees for residents who are affected by the partial shutdown. Once the shutdown ends, they will also be given a 60-day grace period to pay these bills. Federal employees must be Boynton Beach residents and provide a pay stub or letter from their employer stating they are furloughed. Call 561/742-6400.

Free meals at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek

The casino launched its “dine on us” initiative this week, offering government employees from the Treasury, Homeland Security, Interior, State, HUD, Transportation, Justice, Agriculture and Commerce departments for free lunch at Fresh Harvest (up to five times, maximum value $19 per person and $38 per couple) and dinner at Sorrisi (once a week, maximum value $40 per person and $80 per couple). Valid through Jan. 31 and must show valid government ID. 5550 NW 40th St., Coconut Creek; 954/977-6700;

Free entry at Boca Museum of Art

Looking for a relaxing reprieve? The museum is offering free admission to furloughed government workers and one guest. Redeem by showing a valid federal employee ID at Visitor Services. 501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton; 561/392-2500;

Free rides on Brightline

The tri-county train is offering free Smart Service rides to government employees riding to any of their three stops: West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Guests must show their government-issued employee ID to guest service agents—this means rides can only be booked at the station. This special will continue until the government reopens.

Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly
Christiana Lilly is the former web editor at Boca magazine, where she enjoyed battling with web coding and community reporting—the more off beat, the better. An award-winning journalist, she is the president of the Society of Professional Journalists Florida chapter and a proud graduate of the University of Florida.

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