As a gesture of thanks, State Rep. Chris Paddie teamed up with two local food trucks last weekend to provide free meals to those who continue to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Catfish Express and Mega Bites offered the free food to the first 100 healthcare workers and first responders, who stopped by the food trailers at the Grand Plaza Shopping Center, located at 1203 E. Grand Ave. in Marshall.

“I’m super excited to be able to help any way that I can right now; especially for the first responders, giving back when they’re putting their lives on the line,” said Chris Bisset with Mega Bites.

“It’s a struggle to come out every day, not knowing if the next customer is going to be someone carrying the virus, and these people are doing the exact same thing,” said Bisset.

“For us to be able to help those who are helping others, that’s an honor to be able to do that,” he said.

Randy Cox, of Catfish Express, concurred. As a former first responder, Cox said he immediately jumped on the opportunity to be able to offer the free service Saturday.

“That’s why I jumped on it so fast, to help them out,” said Cox. “We’re always looking to help out first responders.”

By lunch time, the eateries had served several police officers, sheriff’s deputies, medical workers and nurses.

“We really appreciate everyone’s support during this time, supporting small businesses and we’re glad that we’re able to continue going to be able to serve the community as well,” said Bisset.

The special guests were able to order anything up to $10 from Mega Bites, which included a choice of three burgers or two burgers and fries or a platter of loaded fries and burger.

Catfish Express offered catfish and chicken fried steak dinners. Cox said the group was very appreciative of the token of thanks.

“We really appreciate Rep. Paddie doing this for the first responders,” said Cox. “We appreciate all he does for our community.”

Paddie said he is pleased to provide a hot meal for law enforcement, firefighters, doctors, nurses, and so many more who are working diligently to keep all safe and healthy through these difficult times.

“While this is just a small token of our community’s appreciation, it is one way that we can say thank you for all that you do for us day in and day out,” said Paddie.