There were big smiles on all the faces of the TSA employees at Eisenhower Airport after Maize Career Academy students surprised them with a homemade lunch.
The TSA workers are among the federal employees working without pay during the partial government shutdown.
“The shutdown has been very difficult for our employees,” said Jay Brainard, Kansas TSA Federal Security Director. “They’re coming to work every day. They’re fufilling their responsibilities and it’s a real challenge to keep the morale up.”
But, the moral was high on Thursday thanks to the thoughtful students, who cooked the meal themselves.
“To be on your own and to not be paid for your services, I can’t imgaine the worrying of each day of where your next meal is going to come from or afford certain things,” said Alexandra Palmer, senior.
“It’s really nice and sort of hits a soft spot in your heart,” said Avery Stilwell, junior.
The student said being able to help makes them happy and they want the federal workers to know that they’re being thought of.
“Just know that you have people standing behind you and you will always be appreciated for what you do,” said Palmer.
The TSA workers expressed how thankful they were.
Brainard was one of them. He, too, knows the affects of the shutdown all too well and said the community’s support makes this tough time somewhat bearable.
“Our officers all appreciate it when they come in here,” Brainard said. “It is one less thing to worry about. They do have a stressful job, a very important job and this helps them keep their concentration on security and again, the generous nature. We just can’t say thank you enough.”