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Pilot helps TSA agents during partial government shutdown

Amie Howard works for Delta Airlines and flies through Columbia Regional Airport often for work.

She is working to get restaurants in the area to donate food for the TSA agents at the airport who have been working without pay.

So far, she has gotten Your Pie, Pickleman’s and Bandana’s Bar-B-Q to donate food for the agent’s lunches.

“Without getting political and all, I just want to help them,” Howard said.

Howard said even though the agents are not getting paid, they have been nothing but professional.

“As I’m out on the road working I deal with them every day,” Howard said. “And they’re professional, and they really don’t have an opinion either way of what’s going on. You just see it in their eyes, they’re in need. They’re just saying thank you.”

She said Your Pie inspired her to start asking for donations after they offered to pay to deliver pizzas.

Jacob McCord is a shift leader at Your Pie on Grindstone who came into work early the day they donated the pizzas to help fill the order.

“I just feel like it was a small thing we could do for our community,” McCord said.

He said Your Pie would be happy to help Howard with her mission again if needed.

Robert Laforte, District Manager at Bandana’s Bar-B-Q, said the restaurant thought it would be nice to help the TSA agents because they do not have control over the shutdown.

“We thought it was a nice little gesture on our part to help them out, going through something that really they have no control over. So, it’s just our way of helping out in the community and giving back,” Laforte said.

Ryan Marquardt, general manager at Pickleman’s on Broadway, said he decided to donate sandwiches after getting a call from Howard. He said the donation can at least provide peace of mind for the agents who may be worried about buying things such as groceries.

“It’;s a little thing, you know. Sandwiches aren’t do or die, but it helps people get on with their day,” Marquardt said. “Anything political aside, when there’s people that need help in our community I always want to be there and help them out.”

Howard said any businesses that want to help or donate or community members willing to help deliver food can email her at She also said anyone can help by donating to the local food pantry.

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