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Restaurant gives free meals to responders

NATCHEZ — A major fast-food restaurant chain recently decided to do something good to help the first responders and health care workers across the nation, including those in the Miss-Lou, in the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since Wednesday, April 22, and lasting through Tuesday, May 5, McDonald’s is serving free “Thank You Meals,” day or night, via carry out and drive thru, to first responders such as police officers and firefighters, medical workers and healthcare workers at participating McDonald’s locations. All first responders have to do is simply show a work badge to get a free meal.

Participating McDonald’s restaurants, include the locations in Natchez and Vidalia.

Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell said he received an email from Nick Stowell of McDonald’s U.S. Government Relations (Southeast District) informing him of the program.

“I replied to an email from a district manager,” Grennell said. “I just wanted McDonald’s to know that the city appreciates what they’re doing for the first responders — the police officers and firefighters — as well as the medical workers who’ve been on the front line in terms of this pandemic.”

Stowell said nearly 4,000,000 “Thank You Meals” had been served nationwide in just the first six days of the program.

“It’s been a popular program with the healthcare workers and first responders,” Stowell said.

Each meal will be served in the familiar Happy Meal Box with breakfast and daytime options available.

At breakfast, individuals can choose from an Egg McMuffin, Chicken McGriddles or Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and a Hash Brown; and for lunch and dinner a Double Cheeseburger, 6-Piece McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish with any size soft drink, tea or hot coffee and small fries. A note of appreciation also comes with each meal.

Joshua Cook with McDonald’s media relations said that local McDonald’s Owner/Operator Melanie Roach told him that between April 22 and 28, more than 500 of these complimentary meals have been served to healthcare workers and first responders at the Natchez McDonald’s restaurants alone. Including the Vidalia McDonald’s, the amount served is more than 625.

Roach now owns/operates 10 McDonald’s restaurants across the Magnolia State, including two in Natchez, as well as the one across the Mississippi River in Vidalia.