Canadian meteorologists join in trend of sending pizza to U.S. government workers running low on dough
As the partial government shutdown continues, so do the deliveries
One of the few winners in the longest U.S. government shutdown in history might be places like Uncle Joe's Pizzeria in Anchorage, Alaska, as Canadian air-traffic controllers, and now meteorologists send pizza to their U.S. colleagues.
Alysa Pederson, a senior aviation meteorologist in Edmonton, ordered eight pizzas for 15 employees working without pay at the National Weather Service building.
Pederson said the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit was 'ecstatic' to receive the pizzas from Uncle Joe's on Monday. Employees at the weather unit in Alaska tweeted an image of a thank you note to Environment Canada.
"The whole reason we did it was to show them solidarity," Pederson told CBC's Radio Active Wednesday.
"We just wanted to put a smile on their faces to keep them going and know that their counterparts in Canada here are thinking about them."
The delivery was a show of support to the essential services employees who are required to work but aren't being paid during the partial government shutdown, which began Dec. 22.
Pederson said forecast service employees in Edmonton also sent pizzas to meteorologists in Great Falls and Glasgow, Montana, and the office in Winnipeg sent pizzas to Grand Forks, North Dakota. She said they were inspired by air traffic controllers in Edmonton who first started the cross-border delivery trend.
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Pederson said even though a U.S. pizza-chain delivered the pizzas they tried to put a little Canadian spin on the toppings.
"The closest we could get was on their all-meat pizzas with Canadian bacon," she said.
She said she admires her U.S. counterparts' dedication to their jobs through the shutdown.
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"What does come through is how much dedication and caring they all have for their jobs to still come to work and not get paid," she said.
"Planes can't fly if there's no forecasts for the airport and for airspace and turbulence and if we don't have that, a lot of things would shut down. The fact that these guys are still showing up to work shows their dedication, and it's tough but they're still doing it. It's pretty impressive."
"As long as [Environment Canada employees] are still willing to donate money to pizza, I'll still keep sending pizza to offices."