The following press release was written by Edward Fitzpatrick, Roger Williams University.
In response to the partial federal government shutdown, Roger Williams University and its food service provider, Bon Appétit Management Company, will provide free hot meals to active-duty members of the Coast Guard and their families on Tuesday, Jan. 15.
Any active-duty members of the Coast Guard in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts are welcome to come the Upper Commons dining hall on RWU’s Bristol campus for dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Please enter through the main entrance off Old Ferry Road and bring a Coast Guard ID.
Salaries for members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are not affected by the latest government shutdown because the Department of Defense had its full fiscal year funding approved last fall. But the Coast Guard is funded through the Department of Homeland Security, one of multiple agencies whose budgets lapsed late last month amid an impasse over border wall funding.
“We are pleased to welcome active duty members of the Coast Guard and their families to our campus for a hot meal,” RWU Interim President Andy Workman said. “RWU and our University College educate many students from the military, and we are glad to do our part by providing support at this difficult time for these local families.”
“Here in the Ocean State, we have a high density of Coast Guard members,” said James Gubata, Bon Appétit’s general manager at RWU. “So we are responding to a need in the community and opening our dining hall in a time of need. We will be offering a family-style meal and trying to create a sense of family because we want them to know they are a part of a community and we want to help them through this situation.”