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Waco restaurants donate hot meals to local firefighters practicing social distancing

Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 20:24:39-04

WACO, TX — Coronavirus is impacting many people, including first responders.

Many fire stations in Central Texas are practicing social distancing, and that's placing a strain on firehouses to stay stocked with food and groceries.

Firefighters are going out in public less, so they can be ready to respond to emergencies.

At Waco Fire Station #8, coronavirus concerns have left firefighters battling a different kind of emergency.

"We've done every precaution we can do. We've Lysol'd the stations every day. We make sure we clean every bit of our equipment," said Waco Fire Department Engineer Richie Campbell

First responders are practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But as crews bunker down, simple tasks like going to the grocery store now seem like a luxury.

"It was kind of like one of those things that you just counted on, and all of the sudden this happened, and now you can't go to the grocery stores," said Campbell

Cue Mexican restaurant Don Leal's, who has been stepping up to action.

"Any way that we can help we will," said Don Leal's owner Fred Leal.

"We call them in desperate times, and they run to the situation when we run to them," said Don Leal's manager Chris Leal.

Thanks to community volunteers, Don Leal's has been donating and delivering hot meals to local firefighters like the ones at Fire Station #8

Firefighters say by getting meals delivered, it gives them one less thing to worry about.

"You know we're the only ones that can do it. We're the trained professionals, and if we all get sick, there's no one to help the public," said Campbell.

Don Leal’s says many restaurants have been joining the cause.

The firefighters are thankful, and challenging everyone to help not only them but other people in need in the community.

If you're a restaurant who would like to donate food or if you'd like to volunteer to help deliver meals, click here.