MADISON, Tenn. - Employees at the Madison Olive Garden restaurant continued a Labor Day tradition of delivering lunch to first responders.
They prepared meals for three fire stations located near the restaurant. This was the 14th year employees have participated in the program.
"I get to give back to the community. I may not pay for it, but I do give back. It's just fun," said employee Donna Tucker.
General manager Brian Salamone joined Tucker for the deliveries. They started Monday afternoon at the Goodlettsville Fire Department.
"To see their recognition of what we do feels pretty good," said firefighter Steven Holland.
From Goodlettsville, Station 31 in Madison got the next delivery of lasagna, spaghetti, salad, bread sticks, and dessert.
"It's heart-warming to know the community cares for what we do. We really appreciate the fact they take the time to bring us food every year," said firefighter Martin Hampton.
Many of the firefighters were not even aware of the reason for the Labor Day lunch. Olive Garden started doing this in 2002, the first Labor Day after the September 11th attacks.
"I get emotional, so," Tucker said with tears in her eyes. "I take it in remembrance of the guys and women, who lost their lives on 9-11."
More than 800 Olive Garden restaurants made deliveries to first responders this year.
"Olive Garden, doing this across the nation, to fire houses, police departments, and other first responders, it's just kind of neat to be a part of a company that does that as well," Salamone said.
Other restaurants around the country delivered to police departments, emergency rooms, and EMS stations.