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Local business helps furloughed workers

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The government shutdown continues to affect lives across the country. Oklahoma businesses are lending a hand to the people whose jobs have been put on hold because of furloughs.

One of those businesses is the food truck “La Gumbo Ya Ya.” Their goal is to send furloughed workers who visit their truck away with a free meal and a smile.

The colorful food truck has a policy that anyone who visits does not leave hungry, whether they can afford to pay or not.

Chef and owner Willy Fontanez says they have always used their “Suspended Meals Program” to help feed the homeless and people who are down on their luck.

“But when the furlough started we just said ‘You know, let’s just open that up to anybody’ and just to kind of create that smile for people to get the good food.” Fontanez said.

When furloughed workers show their furloughed letter, they will come away with a free Cajun and Puerto Rican meal. As long as they can afford to keep feeding people, they will not turn anyone away.

“One person came up and said ‘Are you really doing this?’ and we’re like ‘Yeah, absolutely!’ and they showed us their papers and we gave them their meal.” Fontanez said.

Fontanez gives credit to the community. Several people have donated money or tipped extra to help them keep the free meals coming, one gumbo bowl at a time.

Fontanez runs the truck with his wife. They are celebrating their 5 year wedding anniversary Friday and have created a special menu for the night.

If you want to find La Gumbo Ya Ya’s daily locations and menus, visit their website http://www.lagumboyaya.com/ their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lagumboyaya or their Twitter https://twitter.com/LaGumboYaYa