Melbourne restaurant helps Coast Guard families through shutdown

A restaurant owner in Melbourne is helping U.S. Coast Guard families with groceries and needs because they are working with no pay through the government shutdown. 

Julie Shipley, owner of The Soup Shop on North Wickaham Road and Post Road, started collecting donations after realizing there was a need. Monica Anderson, a Coast Guard wife, tells The News Station her family has already missed a check this month because her husband is not being paid.

“I think what a lot of people have just recently started to share is the anxiety that goes along with something like this,” said the mom of six. “How are we going to feed the kids, how are we going to pay for electricity? My husband’s income in the sole income in our family.”

Shipley is providing dinner and groceries to several families including Anderson’s. She has a special connection to the Coast Guard because her son is a member.

“My son Ross is currently in the Coast Guard. He’s up in Yorktown, Virginia,” she said. “Hey look, if you’re worried, we got your back.”

Shipley also gave Anderson a job to help her family earn some extra income. She is using The Soup Shop as a donation collection point, and encourages other people to collect donations too.

“For her to go out of her way or use her finances to care for somebody she doesn’t even know is amazingly special,” Anderson said tearfully.

“I don’t think we can ever express into words what it means to us.”