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COVID-19 Brings Out Community Spirit
May 20, 2020 | 80653 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jose Ledezma prepares bagged meals to distribute to local emergency room workers, courtesy of the Middleton brothers, of Larry’s II Restaurant. The meals are part of an outreach program to families involved in the Y’s preschool program. The bagged meals also included a note from children at Middletons’ church. Ledezma is the youth and family living director at the Y.
Jose Ledezma prepares bagged meals to distribute to local emergency room workers, courtesy of the Middleton brothers, of Larry’s II Restaurant. The meals are part of an outreach program to families involved in the Y’s preschool program. The bagged meals also included a note from children at Middletons’ church. Ledezma is the youth and family living director at the Y.
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VINELAND — An outreach that began for frontline workers has been so successful that it has expanded to others who need a good, hot meal.

The initiative started when brothers and restauranteurs Ryan and Bob Middleton started a GoFundMe page to provide food for local emergency room workers.

“We got an amazing response from the page,” Bob said. “This is a community thing. We identified the needs, and we were touched at the giving spirit of so many people. We’ve been able to be the conduit for other organizations now, too.”

One organization Bob contacted was the Cumberland Cape Atlantic YMCA.

“We wanted to reach out to a reliable organization with ties to local families,” Bob said. “At Larry’s II, we have a long connection with the Y and know its commitment to community service.”

The YMCA contacted families in its preschool program and received immediate interest from them in the edibles from Larry’s II.

Jose Ledezma, youth and healthy living director, noted the Y was delighted to support the outreach and help families. Ledezma’s colleagues, Lauren Brunner, preschool director; Mimi Gonzalez, preschool teacher, and Aaron Hawkins, marketing director, were there to help distribute nearly 80 meals.

“The parents had smiles on their faces, and they thanked us sincerely,” Ledezma said. “Personally, it felt good to help out!”

Included with each bagged meal were chicken, potato, vegetable, and dessert dishes — plus a positive personal note from children in the Middletons’ church’s kids’ ministry.

Anyone interested in contributing to this initiative is invited to check larrys2.com for updates.
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