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Free items, offers for federal employees during government shutdown

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CLEVELAND– As the partial government shutdown continues, some businesses in Northeast Ohio are offering free items and other types of assistance to federal employees.

Akron RTA

Akron Metro RTA is offering free metro bus fare with a federal I.D. Federal employees are eligible for free fares on any METRO service, including line-service, Northcoast Express, SCAT, and Call-A-Bus. This promotion will continue until the shutdown ends.

Akron Zoo

The Akron Zoo is offering free admission to federal government employees with a valid federal I.D.  Employees can receive up to four free tickets through the end of February or the end of the government shutdown.  More information and zoo hours, here.


Revised payment schedules and waived late fees. More information here.

Bank of America

Call the client assistance program at 844-219-0690.


Waived or refunded overdraft fees and monthly service fees available. Call 1-888-356-0023.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Free entry on Mondays for all federal employees during the shutdown. Must present ID.

Columbia Gas

Will waive late payment fees and make extended payment arrangements. Call 1-800-344-4077


Offering affected workers and contractors three free workout classes, valued at $90.

Elements Bistro at Cleveland State

Furloughed employees can received a free entree from Jan. 22 to Jan. 25 when they present a valid government ID.

Farmers State Bank

Offering a 0 percent interest line of credit with no loan fees to impacted workers for as long as the current shutdown continues.

Firehouse Sports Bar and Grill

Free meal to furloughed employees and their families with government ID. Details here.

Greater Cleveland Food Bank

Free half-gallons of milk through Jan. 30. More information here.

Lago East Bank

Free pasta and meatballs to local federal employees and their families affected by the shutdown. Please present valid government-issued ID. Details here.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Free admission for furloughed government employees and up to one guest with ID or badge.

Trinity Lutheran Church, Lakewood

Free groceries and hot meals throughout the duration of the furlough. Food pantry on Jan. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon, community meals on Feb. 4 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Feb. 10 at 4 p.m., and Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.

United Way of Lake County

Free milk on Jan. 24 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for more information.

Urban Farmer

Complimentary lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Jan. 25 with valid government ID.

USO of Northern Ohio

Running a Support Drive for Active Duty US Coast Guard families during the government shutdown.  They are collecting non-perishable foods, personal hygiene products, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, diapers, paper products and gift cards for grocery stores, gas and pet stores.  Click here for information on drop-off locations.

Wells Fargo

Payment assistance programs available, based on individual circumstances. Click here for phone numbers.

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