LIMA — After responding to a two-alarm house fire Monday, Lima Fire Department firefighters on C-shift were relieved to find food from Olive Garden at the Central station station when they returned.
A signature house salad, fresh breadsticks, classic lasagna and spaghetti with meat and marinara sauce awaited the crew when they arrived.
The hungry men were appreciative of the food provided from Olive Garden, 1936 Roschman Ave., as it give them an opportunity to just relax and eat, said Lima Fire Department Lt. Andrew Groman.
“We do a lot of meal prepping,” Groman said. “It was nice to come back to food after responding to that house fire. It was very timely, and it’s always great when the community reaches out.”
The meal provides the firefighters with a time to bond with one other, Groman said.
“We always end up working holidays,” Groman said. “Holidays are actually kind of different. We don’t do as much busy work, so we try to work on building a sense of community among ourselves.”
Every year, the Olive Garden in Lima delivers food to first responders as a way to show respect and gratitude for the people who protect and serve the community.
“We care deeply about our first responders, and we have a great deal of respect for everything that you all do here,” Jonathan White, Olive Garden’s general manager, said to the Central firefighters. “You guys spend a lot of time here, and we wanted to make you guys feel a part of our family by bringing a Italian family dinner.”
The Labor Day lunch delivery program has become an annual tradition among Olive Garden restaurants across the nation. This is the 17th year of the program.
“We are a community-family restaurant, and we want to support the community. This is just one of the ways that we reach out to our first responders every year,” White said. “This is important because they are the ones that serve and protect this community.”
Aside from giving back to the community, the Lima Olive Garden is going through a six-week remodel. The restaurant will remain open during the duration of the renovation.
“Overall, the restaurant will be more open, vibrant and up-to-date,” White said. “This will include new seating, lighting, fabrics and artwork, creating a warm and stylish atmosphere. We hope that everyone will come and check us out.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews