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Shutdown help: Folsom nonprofit donates 100 lunches to TSA agents at Sacramento airport

Mohammed Khader (third from center) stand s with TSA agents and the Muslim Community of Folsom volunteers outside of the Sacramento International Airport, Jan. 21, 2019. His group donated 100 meals to TSA officials at SMF.
Mohammed Khader (third from center) stand s with TSA agents and the Muslim Community of Folsom volunteers outside of the Sacramento International Airport, Jan. 21, 2019. His group donated 100 meals to TSA officials at SMF. Mohammed Khader

With the federal government partially shut down and TSA workers going weeks without paychecks, members of the nonprofit group Muslim Community of Folsom came up with a simple gesture to show they care: they bought the agents lunch Monday.

Mohammed Khader, the president of the organization, and his group bought 100 box lunches for TSA agents and delivered them to Terminal A and Terminal B around 11:30 a.m. It made an impact, Khader said.

“One TSA agent cried because of the gesture. They were thankful. They said that it felt like somebody cared for them in their time of need,” Khader said.

It’s been 31 days since the partial government shutdown began and TSA agents across the country are still working without pay because of their essential status.

That’s begun to take a toll on both travelers and the agents, according to the Associated Press. There are longer security lines at some airports, less TSA agents on hand and the financial burden on TSA agents, alongside other furloughed government employees, getting worse.

“These people, even though they are not getting paid, they still come and help our community to make us safe. I think we need to appreciate them, because they’re not caring about the shutdown and are still working,” Khader said.

Zaid Akhter, a member of the board for the nonprofit, said that this was an easy way to support the agents who are bearing the burden of the shutdown.

“I just feel sad that there’s a lot of people working hard and not getting paid, they’re the ones suffering ... (we thought) ‘Hey wouldn’t this be a great way to help out.’” Akhter said.

Khader and Akhter said this is just one way that their group supports the community. Their volunteers visit senior living communities to keep those without family near company, and their mosque provided shelter for the homeless during the holiday season.

“We are all apart of the same community, if they need help, we’ll help. And if we need help, they’ll help us,” Khader said.

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