By Heather Bennett
Food insecurity along The Emerald Coast is an ongoing issue that we have spotlighted with stories involving local food banks, churches, and food drives, but it’s not something we all think about. However, with many people out of work and kids home from school due to COVID-19 it’s now something that has been brought to the forefront of the community.
Thankfully our community is caring and supportive, and we come together when in need.
Many local businesses and restaurants have stepped up to help provide free meals during these trying and uncertain times, making sure kids have access to lunch, and families can get a hot meal.
You may have seen the American Lunch food truck handing out free lunches the last couple of months. They are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been delivering free hot meals to people in need since 2012. They receive 1% of the proceeds from Morgan family restaurants like Harbor Docks, La Paz, The Local Market and Camille’s to cover operating costs. Recently, they’ve been serving up free lunches on The Emerald Coast during the shutdown.
“We’re doing it because we know these times are tough, and food is hard to come by for people, and people need to eat,” said Eddie Morgan of Harbor Docks. “We’re going to be regularly ordering food to keep feeding people.”
Some of the meals being offered by American Lunch are gumbo, tacos, fajitas, ham and cheese sandwiches, pulled pork sandwiches, fried chicken and fish salad sandwiches. Other local restaurants have also donated meals to American Lunch to distribute. “We’ve had a great response. We’ve been averaging about 150 people a day,” said Eddie. “Everything’s free, completely free of charge. No questions asked. We’re not here to judge, we’re just here to feed people.”
American Lunch not only serves The Emerald Coast, but also is available in other areas of the south – Athens, Georgia, Birmingham, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where Morgan family restaurants are located. Since serving free meals is something American Lunch has done for years, they will continue to help the communities as we all start to reopen.
If you would like to know more about American Lunch, or the food truck schedule you can check out their Website at americanlunch.org or their Facebook page facebook.com/AmericanLunch.