Greenbrier Community Hosts Luncheon For Federal Workers

LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WOAY) – Federal workers are waiting for their overdue paychecks, but the community around them still shows their support until they are back on their feet.

“The feedback we get from them is that it really relieved a lot of their stress,” said Florian Schleiff, who helped organize the event. “They can suddenly meet with people in a neutral place. At the moment they don’t have money to go to any restaurants or anything,so this is really like a vacation place for them.”

Furloughed employees missed their second paycheck on Friday, January 25. To help make ends meet, the Mountwell Commons and Greenbrier County Health Alliance provided free lunches for federal employees and their families on January 12th, 19th and 26th.

“It’s just amazing, the outpouring of all the people that suddenly bring food,” said Schleiff. “We have had several people show up with movie tickets and Kroger cards. I mean, several hundred dollars each. It’s been a really good experience.”

Volunteers dedicated their time to cook and serve meals. Some assembled to-go boxes for federal employees who missed the luncheon due to their shift at the federal prison.

Schleiff said employees from the USDA, TSA, U.S. Forest Service and federal prisons have attended the luncheons.

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at