On Monday, the menu featured chicken biscuits, fresh fruit salad, bananas, mini rolls, and drinks, all compliments of Chick-fil-A, said Jaime Roth, director of catering for the restaurant.
“This is such a blessing to serve other people,” Roth said. “It’s amazing.”
Pat Ringwald, assistant to the catering director, said the employees have been performing the community service since the restaurant closed three weeks ago, and some have suggested continuing the program after the restaurant reopens on Aug. 24. They have served several agencies in the Dayton area, he said.
He was asked what he saw when he looked around the room at those in need.
“Children of God just like me and you,” he said. “I love it. This is great.”
Several of the residents said they appreciated the generosity of the restaurant owner, Marla Davis, and the dedication of her employees. For some, it may have been the only meal of the day, or at least until they received another free meal.
Robert Pieratt, 55, of Middletown, said his disability check covers his rent and utilities, and some months, there’s not enough money for food. He said he relies on social programs, like the one at First United Methodist Church.
This type of assistance, he said, helps reduce the crime rate in the city because those unemployed don’t have to steal to buy food. He’s a diabetic, so he depends on consistent, nutritional meals, he said.
He called eating Chick-fil-A “a special bonus.”
Miguel Rivera, 51, of Middletown, said he bounces from food pantry to food pantry because he’s waiting for his disability to be approved. He lives in a friend’s garage and is unemployed, he said.
“It’s nice to have a place to go to eat,” Rivera said. “This was a good breakfast.”