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Feeling the furlough? Where to go for help.

More than 800,000 federal employees are either laid off or have been working without pay for weeks. The direct consequences to those workers and their families, and the subsequent trickle-down impact to the businesses they buy goods and services from, such as their banks, credit unions, and landlords, are being felt across the nation.

In the Niwot, Gunbarrel and South Longmont area, several nonprofit organizations and businesses have stepped forward to announce they would like to be a safety net for their struggling community members.

Help for residents within the St. Vrain Valley School District

OUR Center, located at 220 Collyer Street, Longmont, is an organization that helps members of the SVVSD community make ends meet. The not-for-profit organization has publicized that they are assisting anyone who has been affected by the government shutdown with the following services and more: hot breakfasts and dinners daily, groceries from their community market, clothing and household items from the community closet, rent and utility bill assistance, medical bill and transportation assistance, access to health care, budgetary advice, referrals to other supportive agencies, and affordable childcare.

Applicants will need to present a photo ID, a utility bill to show they live in the St. Vrain Valley School District, and a pay stub for proof of employment with a governmental agency.

Walk-ins are welcome, but to expedite the application process, it’s best to request an appointment by going online or calling 303-772-5529

Help for all  Boulder County residents

Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) located at 1575 Yarmouth Street, Boulder, has been in operation for 100 years helping Boulder County residents meet their basic needs. They are reaching out to federal employees impacted by the government shutdown and providing the following services: groceries from their food pantry, assistance with making utility, medical, rent, and mortgage payments, and help connecting with other community resources.

If you are a Boulder area resident, call 303-442-3042 and for those who live in Boulder County mountain communities, call 720-336-2326.

Community Food Share (CFS) located at 650 S Taylor Avenue, Louisville, is offering fresh produce, dairy, and pantry items free of charge to furloughed federal employees. Visit Community Food Share's website for detailed information on their mobile pantry vehicles out and about at various Boulder locations. They will also assist with applying for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). If there is an immediate need for food, CFS is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Elevations Credit Union, Credit Union of Colorado, and Premier Members Credit Union are area credit unions extending short term loans and loan deferment programs to furloughed federal employees. Contact each institution for specific information.

Local restaurants stepping up to help

Many area restaurants are inviting furloughed government employees to come in for meals during the shutdown. With a valid government employee ID, each of these eateries will welcome employees and their families to pull up a seat and enjoy some sustenance.  Please contact each business for additional details.

Lefty’s Pizza, Niwot - A free meal from their full Italian menu

Aperitivo, Gunbarrel - Serving free meals by reservation. Call (303) 530-1326

Lookout Café and Cocktails, Gunbarrel - A free meal

The Morning Table, Gunbarrel - Breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast and coffee by reservation. Call (720) 287-0800

El Mercado, Prospect - Serving free meals by reservation. Call (720) 340-3281

Urban Thai, Prospect - Serving free meals by reservation. Call (720) 600-5164

Modern Market, Longmont - A free grain bowl, Fridays through Sundays

The Post Brewing, Longmont - A free lunch, Mondays through Fridays (does not include tip or taxes)

Miguel Vazquez, executive chef at Aperitivo, El Mercado, and Urban Thai, said each restaurant has been receiving many requests for their free meals and every recipient has been extremely appreciative.  All three restaurants in the group initially offered one meal a week to a family, but because of the number of requests, they have expanded the offer to one free meal a day at each restaurant for the family of a furloughed federal employee.  

Vazquez said a patron who was eating lunch with a group of friends knew of Aperitivo’s generosity to furloughed employees and was so touched by it that she bought a $20 gift card to apply to the next family of a federal employee who came in for a meal.  

“A lot of people need the help and we’re so happy to put a smile on their faces,” Vazquez said. “We will accommodate as many people as we can.”

Other offers to help furloughed employees: Colorado Driving Institute will give driving lessons with a deferred payment option. For more information, visit:

If you would like to add to the list of organizations and restaurants In Niwot, Gunbarrel, and South Longmont that are offering help to furloughed federal employees, please email [email protected]. We will post the information on our website,


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