A Florida diner decided to offer free meals for law enforcement officers for the rest of July (video below).
After the police shootings earlier in July in Dallas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Auburndale Main Street Diner in Auburndale, Florida, wanted to express its appreciation for local law enforcement officers by providing free meals.
"With the recent activities going on, I just want to show some kind of appreciation to the officers here," Lisa Hirakis, one of the owners of the restaurant, explained to WTVT. "It breaks my heart with everything going on; it really does. There's no excuse for it."
The restaurant announced the initiative on its Facebook page, which has been shared more than 1,000 times since it was published on July 17.
"Thank you for showing these wonderful human beings that they are loved and appreciated," said Michelle Rensing. "This speaks volumes about your character."
"Love everyone at Main Street Diner," wrote customer Sandra Hudson. "Their the greatest not just for what their doing for our officers but just good people."
"That's awesome," said Penny Candace Blevins. "More of us should get involved. We can all do something to show our support. Even if it's just a sincere thank you!"
"Thank you for honoring the police in your area with free meals--you set the example for everyone!" wrote Cynthia Mock.
Local law enforcement officers have shown their gratitude towards the restaurant for the program, especially given the recent events and daily stressors of the job.
“We appreciate you Auburndale Main Street Diner,” a comment from the Auburndale Police Department said. “Thank you so much.”
"We didn't sign up for the job for people to tell us all the time how good we are, how much they appreciate us, but we don't get that a lot," said Andy Ray, deputy chief of the Auburndale Police Department.
Although the free meals initiative will continue until the end of July, the owners are contemplating extending it through August.
"It’s nice to have the support to validate that people appreciate us," Ray said. "Sometimes we forget that."