Coronavirus

Lynchburg bakery prepares 800 free meals for first responders, medical personnel, and grocery store workers

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Hinkley family, who owns Chestnut Hill Bakery, has been in Lynchburg since the 1970s. Through the pandemic, they say the community has supported their bakery to the point where they haven’t had to lay anyone off.

To give back to the community that’s done so much for them, the Hinkleys prepared 800 barbecue meals on Memorial Day to give out for free to first responders, medical personnel, and grocery store employees who are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We came out here Saturday and fired up a couple of smokers, smoked up 32 pork butts,” said Daniel Hinkley, the grill master whose parents own the bakery. “So as each family will pull up, we’ll have it set up like a drive-through. They’ll show their employment verification, and we’ll hand them a bag that’ll have a pound of barbecue, big old container of macaroni salad, big old container of baked beans six pull apart biscuits, six cookies, and a two liter of soda, and we actually save all the bones, so if they’ve got a pet, we’ve got a nice rawhide chew toy for them to be able to take home as well.”

The 200 meal bags are meant to feed four people, for a total of 800 meals.

“It’s wonderful that the community has decided to support the medical facilities wherever, and the grocery stores,” said Elizabeth Hawkins, a nurse at Virginia Baptist Hospital.

Daniel Hinkley made a point to include the workers responsible for keeping grocery stores running.

“The one group that no one ever thinks of is the grocery store workers that are stuck having to deal with a lot of attitude with all this,” said Hinkley, “so I decided that we wanted to go ahead and throw them in the mix and let them know that they’re really appreciated in all this as well.”

“They are being impacted,” said Hawkins. “They’re actually some of the most put in front of people. They don’t know who’s coming in and out of the grocery store, whether you’re sick or not sick.”

The Hinkley family plans to do this again on Labor Day for a different group of workers, focusing on labor-intensive industries.

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