December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Olive Garden serves lunch to Elyria police

Sandra Anderson, left, of the Elyria Olive Garden, serves Elyria police officers Monday. RAY RIEDEL/CHRONICLE

Sandra Anderson, left, of the Elyria Olive Garden, serves Elyria police officers Monday. RAY RIEDEL/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — The men and women who protect and serve were served Monday.

Lisa Mutnansky, of the Elyria Olive Garden, helps deliver a free Labor Day lunch to Elyria police Monday.

Lisa Mutnansky, of the Elyria Olive Garden, helps deliver a free Labor Day lunch to Elyria police Monday.

Lunch was on the Olive Garden for police officers. Since 2002, the restaurant chain has been delivering free meals to firefighters, hospital workers and police. The deliveries were a way to show appreciation after the 9/11 attacks in 2001, said Cindy Chapman, manager of the Elyria Olive Garden, 1635 West River Road, N.

Chapman said the restaurant alternates between serving firefighters and police each year.

“It’s just to give back to the community for the folks who are putting their lives on the line to keep the community safe,” she said.

Meals were delivered nationwide by more than 800 Olive Garden restaurants, according to a news release. The release said the deliveries were part of an “ongoing commitment” of the company to the communities it serves.

The meals in Elyria included breadsticks, lasagna, spaghetti with marinara sauce, salad and a dessert of tiramisu. Police were grateful.

“They bring us a ton of food,” police Lt. Ron Juncker said. “They’re really good to us.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter at @egoodenowct.