By Natalie Anderson
Staff Reporter

The Opelika Kiwanis Club and Austin 1st Foundation have teamed up with one another along with the help of two local restaurants, La Cantina and Breezeway to deliver 200 meals to EAMC workers. On April 23, the organizations delivered 100 meals from La Cantina and 100 meals from Breezeway to EAMC.
“Once the decision was made to support EAMC with 200 meals through the Kiwanis Club of Opelika and the Austin 1st Foundation, Rickey (President of Opelika Kiwanis) and myself discussed supporting two local restaurants through our meal donation to EAMC,” said co-founder of the Austin 1st Foundation and Opelika Kiwanis Club board member, Anthony Terling.
“We saw the need to help two industries that have been impacted by COVID-19 in different ways, and what better way to show our love and support through purchasing meals from two great local restaurants to feed those who are fighting to save lives every day,” Terling added.
“Each year the president (of Kiwanis club) has a special fund to be used to fund a cause of his/her choosing. I chose to give to the foundation Anthony’s family started, Austin 1st Foundation. In our Kiwanis board meeting Anthony mentioned that the foundation would like to donate $1,000 toward meals for EAMC employees and asked if our club would like to assist. There was $1,000 remaining in my special fund so I told the board I would like to match the foundation’s $1,000 with that money. It was decided we would get a couple of locally-owned restaurants to prepare the food,” said Opelika Kiwanis Club president, Rickey Elliot.
“I would like to say thank you to the Kiwanis club and Austin 1st Foundation for inviting Breezeway to be a part of such a worthy cause. We appreciate EAMC and all the workers who are continually putting their lives on the line during this pandemic to save others. We are blessed to have such a fine hospital in our community. EAMC workers have been strong supporters of Breezeway for many years and it was wonderful to be able to give back to them during this critical time. We do appreciate Kiwanis and Austin 1st Foundation for allowing us to partner with them to make this possible. I feel like it was a blessing to everyone involved,” said Breezeway owner Gina Henley.
“La Cantina is proud to partner with community organizations to provide meals for EAMC employees. We have been doing this for several weeks and honestly it is an honor for us to know our meals are bringing nourishment to those working so diligently on the front lines! As a local, family-owned restaurant, we are doing all we can to remain open and truly appreciate all our local customers who have continued to support us,” said La Cantina owner, Jennifer Collins.