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Lansing business helps locals with free hot meals

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LANSING, IA (WXOW) - The people of Lansing might agree with visitors or those passing through that its a small community along the Mississippi River.

Locals said no one can deny though that the people who live here have big hearts.

Justin Shepard, the owner of Shep's Riverside Bar and Grill, said he loves his community. So much so, that he and his staff, whom he calls family, joined together to feed the town.

Shepard received a phone call from a friend who said he wanted to donate 100 meals to the community to ease the tension of everyone staying at home. Shepard thought feeding his hometown was a great idea and decided to run with it.

"We weren't going to stop at 100 meals no matter what," Shepard said. "I had the idea to make as many meals as needed."

Shepard and his fiance Elissa Strobel said they were overwhelmed by the love coming from their community.

"I received some phone calls that made me emotional because those who received our meals told me they were so thankful to receive one," said Strobel.

The home-cooked meal was a hot beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, and gravy with corn or green beans.

Dawn Ewing, Shepard's mother, believes Tuesday was a perfect example of show how tight-knit a small community is.

"In Lansing, we are all like family here," Ewing said. "This whole town is loving and generous. At this time, I think that we all need to remember to be kind, and I want to thank everybody for what they've done."

On Tuesday, volunteers made over 300 meals and delivered every single one.

Shepard said he hopes his act of kindness catches on to create a ripple effect of generosity.

Lindsey Ford

Lindsey Ford is a multi-media journalist.

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