Story by Jan Osborn. Photos by Jan Osborn and courtesy of St. Andrew United Methodist Church.
Jeff Bergus, owner of Lockhart Smokehouse partnered with St. Andrew United Methodist Church’s Helping Hands Ministry to provide 80 box lunches for Emergency Room and other hospital staff members at Medical City Plano on Wednesday. Together they distributed the lunches near the ambulance entrance to staff members who picked them up outside.
The instinct to serve first responders isn’t something new for Jeff and the Lockhart restaurant family. In 2016, Jeff and Lockhart Smokehouse also partnered with St. Andrew following the July 7 Downtown Dallas shootings to serve lunch to approximately 150 officers at the Southwest Patrol Division of the Dallas Police Department.
Jeff said that his big takeaway during the lunch delivery was the clear example of communities helping each other, as the church and Lockhart Smokehouse joined efforts to feed the folks that are fighting this virus every day. Jeff’s wife, Jill Bergus, added, “We are so happy to be able to give back to the community during this unbelievable and unprecedented time. Recently, we were proud to serve lunch to the hard-working employees at Dallas Department of Human Health & Services on behalf of the Shelton School, Ursuline and St. John’s School.”
The Helping Hands Ministry at St. Andrew was recently created to serve others in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have focused on serving first responders, with some meals being funded personally by church members.
Last week Helping Hands partnered with St. Andrew church member Dee Lincoln and Dee Lincoln Prime to serve 90 box lunches to the Plano Police Department. That project started when Plano Police Detective Tony Vidmar, who has coordinated officers to direct Sunday traffic for the last 17 years at St. Andrew, shared with St. Andrew staff that four of his fellow officers had COVID-19 and multiple officers were in quarantine. The Helping Hands team stepped in to serve those on the front line, including the patrol officers, detectives, and a few others.
St. Andrew Sr. Pastor Robert Hasley shared, “One of the ways we have chosen to reach out through this ministry is to support our struggling restaurants and their employees while at the same time showing gratitude to first responders such as the Plano Police and staff at Medical City Plano. We are so appreciative of Lockhart Smokehouse and Dee Lincoln Prime for partnering with us on these important efforts. Jeff and Jill Bergus and Dee Lincoln and their teams work hard and truly care for their communities, and we are so grateful for their friendship, support, and generosity.”
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