Amanda Riggan is at it again – the founder of Hungry Heroes BBQ returns to Henderson Thursday, this time to stock refrigerators at the sheriff’s office, fire department and EMS agencies.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Riggan has had to make some adjustments in the way she shows her appreciation for law enforcement personnel. Since 2018, she has been firing up her Traeger grill and cooking up meals for law enforcement officers and firefighters.
One new program is called “Stock the Fridge,” and that’s what she’ll be doing in Henderson later this week.
Armed with everything from bottled water, Gatorade, chips and other snack items, Riggan will visit the Vance County agencies. “I always buy what I like…I think I like the good stuff,” she remarked during Tuesday’s Town Talk with John C. Rose. “They never complain,” she said, of those whose fridges get stocked.
(To Listen to Riggan and Owen on TownTalk, Click Play…)
“I wish we could actually serve and shake hands and give hugs, but we can still bless people,” she said. Her Hungry Heroes program came to Henderson in September 2020, partnering with local restaurant Skipper Forsyth’s Bar-B-Q to provide meals to the Henderson Police Department and the Henderson Fire Department. This time, she said, she will deliver the snack items as a way to show her appreciation for the tireless service they provide in their community.
Randy Owen, a friend of Riggan’s and fire technology coordinator at Vance-Granville Community College, agreed. Owen also appeared on Town Talk Tuesday and said when the two were discussing a return visit, they agreed that serving a meal may not work as well this time, given the spike in COVID-19 cases being experienced in Vance County and statewide. “Maybe this will put a smile on their faces,” he said, referring to the delivery of the beverages and snacks.
Although she misses the face-to-face meetings that Hungry Heroes created before the pandemic, Riggan said she hopes the Stock the Fridge project will serve the purpose until she can get back to doing what she loves – interacting with all those who serve their communities on the front lines, whether in a police uniform or firefighter gear. “I’ll be back as soon as this COVID is over and we’ll serve real food — we’ll serve barbecue and not just snacks” she promised.
Until then, the grab-and-go snacks hopefully will be a welcome addition to the fridge or pantry that firefighters and deputies can get on their way back from a call or take with them when they leave.
In addition to the local agencies, Riggan’s Hungry Heroes serves active military and veterans. She went to Fort Scott in Kansas back in November and was responsible for three meals a day for a weeklong event that entertained a group of combat veterans on a hunting expedition.
Owen, who coordinates training for 58 agencies in the Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties, noted that the firefighters don’t just put out a fire and then head back to the station. “They are dealing with people if they have to bet people out of the house,” he said. “Their job is also to console…to get the Red Cross involved…It goes a lot deeper than just going and putting the fire out,” he explained.
“These agencies step up to the plate every time,” Owen said. “It’s not just to fight fires, but it’s to serve the community and I appreciate them so much. They are my heroes. And Amanda thinks the same way I do.
Visit www.hungryheroesbbq.com to learn more.