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Taco Shop Gives Free Burritos to Furloughed Federal Employees

By Janet Upadhye | October 10, 2013 8:42am
 Clinton Hill's Cochinita is offerng free burritos to federal employees on furlough.
Free Burritos for Furloughed Federal Employees at Cochinita
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CLINTON HILL — There's an upside to being a federal employee on furlough — free food.

The Brooklyn Mexican restaurant Cochinita is offering a free burrito to every federal employee whose pay is at risk because of the government shutdown.

Manager Tyler Combelic, 29, said the 922 Fulton St. restaurant wants to give neighbors a hand.

"We understand that burritos aren't much, but it's a gesture," he said. "We also want to let people know that the battle in Congress is affecting everyday people."

When federal lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on how to keep the country properly financed, Cochinita tweeted on Oct. 1, "FREE BURRITO for FEDERAL EMPLOYEES! We support you," as The Nabe was first to report.

And the small taco shop has kept its word, Combelic said.

Cochinita has given away more than 35 burritos so far, the manager said. The majority of customers who come to claim their free burrito — worth $9.50 — have said they work nearby and their hours have been cut significantly, Combelic said.

As long as the shutdown continues, there will be free burritos for federal employees with identification, the manager said. No one has come in for free food twice, he said.

"Hopefully it ends sooner [rather] than later, for everyone's sake," he said.