Donna Smith on hunger strike during government shutdown - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Furloughed worker on hunger strike until shutdown ends

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MORROW, OH (FOX19) -

For one Tri-State federal employee, this government shutdown has taken on a whole new meaning.

Donna Smith of Morrow was asked by FOX19, "Who is this for?" She replied, "It's for anyone who is suffering because of the government shutdown."

She's a federal employee who isn't working as a result of the political gridlock.  She's also not eating because of it.

"I heard a couple people say, 'I need the cash coming in so I can feed my kids,' and I thought, what better way," said Smith.

She works in downtown Cincinnati with a branch of the IRS that advocates for taxpayers and is overseen by the federal government.

"I do worry about myself financially and things like that, but I do have a supportive spouse.  We're very blessed, and there's a lot of people out there who don't have that safety net," Smith added.

That's why Smith has decided that if she's prevented from working, she's not eating until that changes.

"How long do you plan on doing this," Ben Katko asked her. "Until the government shutdown ends," Smith responded.

So far, she hasn't eaten in more than four days, and it's all for her coworkers she describes as "hard workers."  Because of that, going hungry was the only choice.

"I work with a lot of dedicated people who not only advocate in their jobs, but advocate in their life, and they do an excellent job for us.  I want to show some solidarity," Smith told FOX19.

Since she started her hunger strike earlier this week, she's only had water, tea and a nutritional shake.

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