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Local restaurant delivers lunch to seniors with help from community

Lloyd's Longbranch delivered more than 200 lunches to seniors this week.

REYNOLDS, Illinois — Llyod's Longbranch is introducing a lunch delivery program for senior citizens in the community, with help from volunteer delivery drivers and donations.

The restaurant started the program the week after Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered bars and restaurants to close last March. 

"We just thought it was a good chance to give back to the community that's supported us so well," Owner Brenda Lloyd says. "The elderly can't and don't want to go out so we thought this was a good way to get them food."

Deliveries have more than tripled in the last month, and so far, more than 500 lunches have been delivered. While some pay for their own lunch, Lloyd says about $500 was donated to pay for others.

"Random people have financially helped us," she says. "A lot of family members have called us saying 'Hey I want to buy lunches for my grandma next week.'"

Amy Degelman is one of Lloyd's Longbranch's volunteer delivery drivers, and she and her son Zeke make the rounds around town delivering about 15 lunches per day. 

"(Some seniors) haven't left their house since this all started so I think this is a good pick up for them -- a home cooked meal," she says. 

She and Lloyd can tell that their neighbors appreciate getting these meals and chatting with the drivers. 

"They say there's enough food there for another meal, so w'ere feeding them well, we're trying to," LLoyd says. 

With the help of their volunteer drivers, they've extended their delivery range out about 15 miles out of Reynolds.

"A lot of the people do just want to chit chat, and just say hi," Degelman says. 

Degelman is a teacher in Aledo, and while she misses her students, she says she's enjoying getting out and connecting with her community.      

"It's a sad time, but remembering (this) in the long run, we'll have that happy feeling from it," she says. 

Llyod says the restaurant will continue the senior meal delivery program through the shutdown. A menu is prepared every week, and anyone can call to order.