ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - On Tuesday, a group of local federal workers got a surprise visit when the church dropped off enough supplies for everyone on the TSA staff at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to make a spaghetti dinner.
"This isn't about politics, it's about people." That's the message of Caleb Bialik, the pastor of Anchorage-based AK Joy Church.
His church's congregation is small — about 20 people, but that couldn't stop them from making one big delivery.
"180 people, we got it down to about seven dollars per person," Bialik said. "That's still a lot of food, but our mission is to inspire other Alaskans to come forward. Seven dollars can provide a meal for somebody."
Bialik wants other Alaskans to step up now and take care of federal workers that are reporting for duty without pay due to the shutdown, whether it be here in Anchorage or anywhere else across the state.
"We know there's a need," Bialik said. "No one can go without a paycheck without feeling it."
According to Peter Duffy, the acting federal security director for TSA Alaska, acts of kindness like this one have gone a long way in boosting moral at TSAIA.
"It has certainly bolstered our officer's resilience," Duffy said.
He says that despite the ongoing shutdown — and national reports of TSA workers calling in sick to avoid working without pay — Alaska's TSA checkpoints are fully staffed and as safe as ever.
"Our officers continue to come to work and they continue to stay focused on the mission," Duffy said. "These folks continue to do their jobs and do them well day in and day out."