Restaurants cooking up free food for law enforcement

Easter Management, which owns Arby’s restaurants in Front Royal and Stephens City, and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Front Royal and Woodstock, will offer free meals to police officers, 911 dispatchers, EMTs and the like on Wednesdays.

“We’re really just showing our support,” said Kay Pierce, operations manager for the Strasburg-based company.

“They go out every day and risk their lives…,” Pierce said. “And really, that’s all it is, showing our support. Without the community we wouldn’t exist.”

Pierce said that the recent rash of anti-police violence is what motivated her and others within the company to offer the free meals.

“There has just been so much tragedy and we try to be community-oriented and this was an idea that we had,” she said. “It includes all law enforcement – dispatchers and EMTs and all that.”

Randy Hamman, owner of Hangouts Grill at the Ramada Inn in Strasburg, is offering 30 percent off meals there for police and their families.

“We’ve been doing it for a good while,” Hamman said. “For me it’s just appreciation. For one (it says) thanks for coming in and eating and two (it says) thanks for taking care of the community, and they work hard and don’t get paid a lot and it’s the least we can do to lessen the burden on the eating.”

Hamman said that having police officers around is never a bad thing.

“We were trying to find a way to get them in here more often,” he said. “One, I like their presence because it keeps away people that we don’t want in here and we wanted to get them in here more often. In or out of uniform it’s 30 percent off.”

Hamman said he’s encouraged by the deals for officers popping up in the area.

“I think it’s awesome that everybody’s pitching in and helping them out. We try to appreciate them all the time, not just part of the time. It’s one of those things where if I were to go into that profession I would hope someone would appreciate me.”

Laura Shelton is the Woodstock Police Department’s accreditation manager.

“We have received an outpouring of support from community members,” she said. “Somebody donated flowers anonymously. I can’t tell you how much food donations we’ve had. It’s been amazing.”

She explained the importance of good relations between the public and law enforcement.

“Interacting with law enforcement proactively helps law enforcement do their jobs better,” she said. “It helps make their jobs a little easier.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or