Dallas Love Field hosts cookout for TSA employees working without pay

As the government shutdown enters week five with no end in sight, federal employees are feeling the pinch.

Dallas Love Field city employees worked to help provide some relief on Friday in the form of a meal.

Security lines at Dallas Love Field have been running smoothly as the employees continue to show up to work even without getting paid. While their bank accounts may be empty, at least on Friday their stomachs were full.

Fellow Dallas Love Field employees, who work for the city, wanted to do something to help the federal employees who keep the airport running. They decided to fire up the grill to make 200 lunches.

“In my younger days, I remember living paycheck to paycheck,” said Art Program Director Guy Bruggeman. “I know it's probably a struggle for them. I can't imagine what it's like for them. We're all trying to help them out any little bit we can. Food snacks and sodas are a great way to do that.”

Bruggeman helped collect donations from city employees and concessionaires.

“It feels good,” he said. “It's all about giving back.”

But giving back to people who are employed is a new one.

Mark Duebner, the director of aviation for the city of Dallas, says without TSA, homeland security, and air traffic control employees showing up each day, the airport would come to a halt.

“We want to make sure our airline travel is safe. TSA is charged with that. They do a great job. But if they don't show up to work, we have a real problem making sure we can operate the airport and operated safely,” Duebner said. “We look at them as family. They are a big part of our community and success, too.”

Duebner is also working to collect donations to provide gas cards to help employees be able to afford to get to work.

The North Texas Food Bank will have a mobile pantry set up on Monday in the employee parking lot.