Local market owners offer LCSS students a free lunch

Food prices are rising and for some families, affording a good meal is becoming increasingly difficult. But last Tuesday, several parents didn’t have to wonder what to serve for dinner or how much it would cost after the owners of the Walthourville Meat Market offered Liberty County School System students a free lunch.

Meat Market owners Ronald and Nicole De-Leon were happy to share plates of beef or chicken tacos, chicken nuggets and plenty of sides during the event, which ran from 4 p.m. to 19h. Ronald DeLeon said he served more than 500 meals to the children who waited patiently.

“The line was outrageous,” he said. “It was down the block, and even in the rain, everyone was still there. I know I made a lot of people happy yesterday. All the kids really enjoyed it.”

“I don’t have to cook tonight for the kids, and it saves us money,” said Amy Wendt, who was collecting food for her two children.

“Thank you, Ronald, for that,” Romanda Stewart said. ” That says everything. You support the community.

“I think it’s awesome,” Deandra Harris said. “It’s a great place and their food is amazing. I love events like this, especially for kids going back to school. Things are tough with COVID. Food is expensive and expenses are skyrocketing, so I think that’s great.

“I just thought it was amazing,” Summer Buerger said. “On the second day of school they give parents a free night and do it for the community and the kids. It doesn’t get any better than that.

DeLeon said he can relate to rising food prices and the importance of feeding young children.

“I have children myself. … I always try to give back,” he said. “And I thought that would be something nice to give to the community.”

Walthourville Mayor Larry Baker and his wife, Brenda, stopped by to offer support, as did the city’s police chief, Al Hagan.

“I spend a lot of time working with kids, and seeing them (the DeLeons) constantly in the community, not just this event, but many other events that people might not realize… see this today’ today is amazing,” Hagan said.

“I heard about it and I came here hoping to see maybe five or six kids, and right now we’ve got close to 50 or more, and I don’t know how many have already come through, and they’re serving them. patiently.

“We are grateful for our business owners in our community. That’s why, as chief of police, I constantly talk about community, and that’s what it’s all about. Glad to see it.

DeLeon said he was touched by the outpouring of support from city officials and loyal customers. “It really makes me feel good,” he said. “It makes me feel like part of the community. I really enjoy serving my community. I’ve been here since 2004 and love showing love to the community and giving back all the time.

DeLeon said he plans to renovate the store and parking lot, and is looking forward to his next venture with the opening of Latin Dreams, a new restaurant near General Screven Way on the site of the former Cici’s Pizza. .

“Latin Dreams is going to be a place of destination. It will be an upscale restaurant with seafood, Latin cuisine, a full bar and VIP rooms,” he said.

Latin Dreams is scheduled to open the second week of September.