Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, two local companies, SJ Kitchen Table and Railport Brewing Company, have extended a hand of thanks to first responders, recently providing meals to members of the Waxahachie Fire Department and American Medical Response.

“It is just so awesome to have so much community support in what we do,” Waxahachie Fire Department battalion chief David Maeker said. “It means a lot to us.”

The feeding program has been a way to say thank you to those who serve the community daily, Railport co-owner Shannan Womack said.

“We are being a funnel for people that wanted to help the fire and EMT people,” she said. “We reached out to hospitals and they are getting a lot of food. We then thought, what about the firefighters and the ambulance drivers?”

Womack said donors to the program have included the groups that played at Railport during a Facebook Live performance. The groups took the funds generated from their tips and donated them, she said.

SJ Kitchen Table co-owner Sara Mallord said providing first responders with meals is a way to support them in what they do. She noted it hits close to home how critical a role first responders and medical professional play in the community.

“My daughter Miranda’s dad is a first responder and my sister is a nurse,” Mallord said. “Josh Atilano came to play here at Railport and he wanted to donate all of his tips to first responders. We thought, why not support that?

“We said if somebody collects the money then we can donate our time and that is the reason why we are doing it,” she said. “The community is in this situation with COVID-19 together and we are here to support each other. [The first responders] have done so much for the community. Sometimes we don’t realize what they do until we are in a situation like this.”

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