Jacksonville restaurant gives free lunch to first responders on Labor Day

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT)–First responders are there for us every day, even on holidays like Labor Day.

While many folks spent Labor Day enjoying the sun and sand, first responders spent the day working to keep you safe. And to say thank you for their sacrifice, Olive Gardens across the nation delivered free lunches.

“Sometimes it’s a thankless job and it’s just something small we can do for them to show our appreciation,” manager Eric Johnson said.

The Jacksonville Olive Garden prepared, packed, and delivered home-style Italian lunches of spaghetti, salad and breadsticks to four fire stations across the city. The first stop was at Fire Station Two off Gum Branch Road.

“A lot of times people don’t appreciate the fire department until we are called and come to their need,” Capt. Kevin Booher, Fire Station Two, said. “Olive Garden bringing us food is a special treat.”

It’s something the chain does every year. Nationwide, Olive Garden has delivered more than 10,000 meals since the program first began 15 years ago.

And hungry firefighters look forward to it each time.

“I’m looking forward to eating the spaghetti, the salad and definitely the bread sticks,” Capt. Ross Whitmore, Fire Station One, said. “I know the guys are looking forward to eating those. I’m sure it’s going to be great.”

The Jacksonville Olive Garden began participating in the delivery seven years ago.


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