Wayne L. Kaplan says it was an easy decision to offer free meals to federal workers who aren’t being paid during the partial government shutdown.
“Between watching the news, reading the newspapers and having a brother-in-law who was a federal worker (EPA) for 30-plus years, it just seemed like the right thing to do,” Kaplan, who owes New York City-based Premier Senior Living with Robert Borsody, told McKnight’s Senior Living.
“We were already serving three meals a day, and snacks, to our assisted living and memory care residents,” he added.
The offer, which began last week, is in effect at all 23 of the company’s senior living communities across six states: Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Kaplan said that each area where a Premier community is located is affected differently by the shutdown, which began Dec. 22 and now is the longest in the nation’s history. “Some are near airports or IRS centers, etc.,” he said.
Federal workers just need to arrive with identification to take advantage of the deal.
“We’d prefer if they do call just so we can be ready for them when they arrive, but they don’t have to,” Kaplan said. “Our motto at Premier Senior Living is ‘WWW,’ which stands for ‘whatever, wherever, whenever.’ ”
Premier also prefers that workers arrive during meal times — 8 to 10 a.m., noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. — but they will be welcomed anytime, he added. “WWW,” Kaplan said.
The company is paying for the cost of the meals out of its regular budget — “and happy to do so,” he said.
“We always have more food on hand than we need, as sometimes our residents want second or third helpings, sometimes their families or friends join them at meals, and we make our meals available to our staff members, so there’s always more than enough food,” Kaplan said.