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The first 100 people who lined up for the Feb. 23 opening of the Englewood Chick-fil-A restaurant were enlisted to assemble meals for needy children and families.“This is a new corporate program this year because we knew we would have a captive audience of at least 100 people to help with the project,” Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Lindsay Ables said. “We felt this was an opportunity for the people camping outside to connect with each other and, at the same time, give back to the community.”Tables were set up around the restaurant and the volunteers took stations at the assembly line-like operation.“Feed Children Everywhere supplies all the materials needed to pack the meals,” Ables said. “Everything is measured out. One scoop of rice, lentils and dehydrated vegetables as well as a small scoop of salt goes into the bag that contains the ingredients for one ready-to-prepare meal. The bags are heat sealed and packed in boxes. The volunteers will do 10,000 meals today that will be taken to Food Bank of the Rockies for distribution to needy families.”Meg Freedman said she loved the opportunity to help others.“I am here today to be in the first 100 in line for 52 free meals because my husband loves Chick-fil-A,” the Lakewood resident said. “I didn't know about this project but I am excited that we get to make these meals for needy families here in the metro area. I think it is great the company is giving back to the community and I would like to spend the whole day making these meals.”Franchise owner Jeremy Wilson said he got to experience making meals to feed the needy at a corporate gathering of owners.“There were several hundred of us at the meeting,” he said. “The corporation told us they were going to let us be the first ones to do this new project designed to help needy people. It was great. We all got to make and pack the meals. I am very happy to be part of a company that is eager to help others.”Ben Pflederer said he set up his tent for the experience — and, of course, it helps that you could get 52 free meals. And it felt good to lend a hand.“I think it is exciting to be making these meals to help others,” the Denver man said. “I didn't know they were doing this and I am glad to be a part of it."
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