Public-sector employees may not always feel appreciated at the end of the workday, so government social networking group GovLoop is hosting a free lunch event on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Washington, D.C., just to tell them, “Thank you.” Last month, GovLoop reached 50,000 members and wanted to celebrate the occasion with free food and an online scavenger hunt.

The lunch event, which will take place near L’Enfant and Federal Triangle metro stops, will have food trucks serving a variety of meals between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EST. Steve Ressler, GovLoop’s founder and president, said because of the current government budget cuts and pay freezes, public-sector employees may feel “beat up.”

“We’re just going to feed those that serve us every day and have a little bit of fun while we’re doing it,” Ressler said.

The event is expected to serve 500 lunches for federal, state and local government employees. According to GovLoop, government employees interested in picking up a free lunch only have to present a government identification card, business card or other document that proves employment in the public sector.

For those who don’t reside in the D.C. area, GovLoop is hosting an online scavenger hunt on Thursday through its website to honor government employees. Ressler said participants will be challenged with different tasks and will need to find clues throughout the government ecosystem.

Three sets of challenges will be held at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. EST, and winners will receive small prizes such as T-shirts and gift cards.

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.