Discounts, help offered for federal workers affected by government shutdown

Businesses and cities in the Tampa Bay area are offering freebies or discounts for federal workers who are furloughed during the partial government shutdown.

Feeding Tampa Bay holds food bank for federal workers

Feeding Tampa Bay has opened a food pantry for federal workers at the Airport Police Training Center near the Tampa International Airport, located at 5020 N. West Shore Blvd. It is open daily from noon to 2 p.m., and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Free bus rides in Pinellas County

Federal workers can ride any Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) bus route for free by showing their government identification card. Transit officials said the offer will be extended 30 days past the end of the shutdown as well "to compensate for their hardship."

Pasco County offers help with utilities

Federal workers impacted by the shutdown can get waived late fees and extensions on their utility bills. Customers can contact Pasco County Utilities at 813-235-6012 for assistance.

Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor deferring utility fees

The cities of Pinellas Park and Safety Harbor will defer utility fees for water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste, and waive all late fees for any furloughed government workers. For more information, call Pinellas Park at 727-369-0690, or Safety Harbor at 727-724-1555.

Free tickets to select shows at Straz Center

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts is partnering with local arts organizations to offer two free tickets to select shows for furloughed government employees. Tickets are available at the ticket sales office no earlier than 90 minutes prior to showtime with a valid government employee ID. Affected workers can get a pair of tickets to the following shows:

-Hundred Days: Friday, Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

-Jobsite Theater's production of Shakespeare's Othello: Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m.

Free admission to Sunken Gardens, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve in St. Pete

The city of St. Petersburg is offering free admission to Sunken Gardens and Boyd Hill Nature Preserve for federal employees and up to three guests for the duration of the shutdown. A photo ID and valid federal identification or recent pay stub is required. Call 727-893-7465 or visit the city's website for additional details.

Free haircuts for U.S. Coast Guard members

A barber in Pinellas County is offering complimentary haircuts for members of the U.S. Coast Guard. For more information, email Gabrielle Quinn or call 727-678-9231.

Safety Harbor movie theater offers free flicks

Gigglewaters, a restaurant and movie theater in Safety Harbor, is offering free movies and beer for any federal workers impacted by the shutdown. Every unsold seat is available free of charge; proof of government employment is required.

St. Petersburg collecting donations for Coast Guard families

The city of St. Petersburg is collecting donations for members of the U.S. Coast Guard and their families. Suggested donation items include: grocery store gift cards, gas station gift cards, non-perishable food items, toiletries, cleaning products and supplies, baby items and pet food. You can drop off donations at City Hall, located at 175 5th Street North, St. Petersburg.