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Sunday, September 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Chef Chad White offers free meals for federal workers

Beginning Tuesday, federal employees are invited for free meals from noon to 4 p.m. at chef Chad White’s downtown Spokane eatery.

Zona Blanca specializes in ceviche, or raw fish cured in citrus juice. But meals for federal workers who have experienced hardship because of the recent government shutdown will be hot, White said.

That could include a toasted torta sandwich or other to-be-determined dishes, he said.

“It’s pretty simple,” White said. “We’re going to feed any furloughed federal workers and their families. I can serve up to 60 meals for two weeks from noon to 4 p.m.”

White said he plans to offer the deal through Feb. 10.

Friday, after 35 days of a partial government shutdown – the nation’s longest – President Donald Trump signed a bill to fund shuttered agencies until Feb. 15.

During the shutdown, federal workers deemed “essential” were required to work without pay. Others were furloughed, or placed on temporary leave. More than 800,000 federal workers have been affected.

“I don’t have any special person I’m connected to in the federal government,” White said Monday. “I just want to support the community and that doesn’t always mean somebody who’s homeless or somebody who has cancer. It also means people who are working hard every day, people who have families. These people have jobs. As chefs we have the ability to feed people. I feel like this is part of doing my service to this community.”

To take advantage of the free meal deal, federal workers must present valid federal identification.

Note: Zona Blanca is a 21-and-over establishment. Federal workers with underage children can opt for take-out.

White is offering the free meals for federal workers in partnership with World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsForFeds movement. He said he launched the paperwork process with the nonprofit relief organization Friday.

For more information, visit

Zona Blanca is at 154 S. Madison St. Call (509) 443-5427.On the web:

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