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Shawnee Lions Club provides lunch to REACT EMS workers

Elisabeth Slay
President of Shawnee Lions Club Greg Arbuckle providing lunch to members of REACT.

To help first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic Shawnee Lions Club delivered meals from Subway to REACT workers on Tuesday, April 14 and will continue to deliver meals Wednesday and Thursday, April 15-16 .

According to Shawnee Lions Club President Greg Arbuckle, the Shawnee Lions decided to use the funds from their quarterly dues, which are usually used for their weekly lunch programs, to support a local restaurant and help those at REACT.

"One of our members, Willis Snowden, runs REACT here in Shawnee and they have provided a program to us on a couple of occasions," Arbuckle said. "Over the past month, obviously, the Lions have been unable to meet in person due to the events unfolding around us. Since part of our quarterly dues goes toward providing lunch for the members, those funds have been sitting idle in our account."

Arbuckle said after not being able to meet in person for the last few months, he and his fellow Lions were sad they were unable to help the community during this crisis.

However, Arbuckle said lately the club has been meeting virtually and they began discussing ways to help those most affected by COVID-19.

"During our meeting last week, it was brought up that we had those funds available if we could just determine the best way to use them," Arbuckle said. "We knew that most of the front line health care workers were getting help from several areas and so we wanted to concentrate on some ‘behind the scenes’ workers if we could."

It was then, Arbuckle said that club member Chris Thomas mentioned Snowden and his workers at REACT and the Lions decided to reach out to Snowden.

"Willis said it was ‘perfect timing’ as they had each of their teams coming into the office this week. Three teams of 30 were due to come in on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday," Arbuckle said. "So our members said what better way to use our funds then to support a local restaurant who needed the business."

Arbuckle explained the Lions decided to purchase meals from Subway because the restaurant serves meals that REACT workers could eat on the go.

"No need to warm it up and easy for them to take with them wherever they were headed," Arbuckle said. "So this week we are feeding 90 members of REACT so they can focus on meeting the needs of the community without spending time or money on getting something to eat."

The club president said he and his fellow Lions were happy to deliver the meals to REACT on Tuesday and look forward to continuing their efforts to help the community during this pandemic.

"As Lions it feels absolutely fantastic to be able to provide our assistance to these great workers and I’m sure we are not finished," Arbuckle said. "We will be meeting virtually every week until the crisis is over and brainstorming other ways to assist."

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