Whole Foods Holds Free "Furlough Dinner"

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The government shutdown is hitting the wallets of furloughed federal workers - including some who live here in central Virginia.

A Charlottesville grocery store is trying to lighten the burden with a free furlough dinner. Whole Foods on Hydraulic Road offered free spaghetti till 7 p.m. Sunday. There was also salad, bread, cake and live music.

The dinner was served up at stores across northern Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville.

The furlough dinner is an effort by the grocery store chain to lift spirits by filling stomachs. Whole Foods says it wants to give something back to communities that are facing tough times with the federal government shutdown.

"Everyone is feeling a little stressed we've got lots of people in our area who are furloughed. Lots of people who are not but are feeling a pinch, and we can all come together and share a free meal together," said Whole Foods marketing team leader Kristen Rabourdin.

The store hopes breaking bread together may help people get over their differences of opinion on Congress's action.

Each store expected between 300 and 500 people.