Local diner steps up to provide free meals to students during school closings

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Diner 24 in Topeka is usually closed on Sundays. But, they came in to work for a very special reason — to prepare free meals for students who need them while schools are closed due to the coronavirus.

Family, staff members and even some volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got to cooking.

“We’re a very family-oriented business, so to be able to help the local families is always great,” said Diner 24 cook Damon Heidrich.

Owner of Diner 24 Kimberly Mattox said when she found out that schools would be closed, she knew she had to help.

“I just felt like if there’s anything I can do, I’m going to do it,” said Mattox.

Mattox said they’ve received a lot of support from the community with several people donating money to help them buy extra supplies needed to make the meals.

With the help of her team and the community, Mattox is making it her mission to help as many students as she can.

“Every kid in this neighborhood is my kid,” said Mattox. “This diner is family. Everyone who comes in here is family. Even the kids that can’t get in here are family. If they can’t get in here to get the food, we’re going to get it to them.”

They’ll be serving hot meals to-go for as long as they’re able to while kids are out of school.

“They’re probably not going to want to go back to school,” Mattox said jokingly. “They’re going to want to stay home and have Diner 24 feed them for two more weeks and we probably would.”

With her staff, family and community members behind her, for Kimberly, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

For a list of other places in Topeka offering free meals for students, click HERE.

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