With rising concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, many citizens have been striving to prevent the spread of illness by remaining at home. First responders, on the other hand, have been working among the public to provide essential services and care. Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence recently showed support for first responders in Dallas by providing meals for those that have been working extra hours due to the coronavirus.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Lawrence partnered with some of his teammates on Sunday to provide food to first responders in southeast Dallas. He commissioned two food-truck owners who recently struggled with financial losses. They served food to roughly 50 first responders at Seago Pantry station in Seagoville between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Linebacker Jaylon Smith and defensive lineman Daniel Ross were also on hand during the event to help provide meals.
Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence, LB Jaylon Smith and DL Daniel Ross collaborating with local food vendors to supply meals for Dallas first responders. pic.twitter.com/OuyoS4mVIx— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 22, 2020
"[The concept] really came from all the boys thinking about what we can do during these tough times," Lawrence said. "We have nurses. We have doctors. We have police officers. We have all these first responders who are out here doing all the hard and dirty work to [fight] the virus. We just wanted to basically give back. ... We're still doing our part."
While an estimated 50 received meals during the event, the food trucks had prepared for hundreds of hungry first responders. The remaining food was prepped and delivered to the Balch Springs Police and Fire Complex, Dallas police headquarters, and Grand Prairie Police and Fire.
Lawrence has also been striving to assist struggling businesses over the past week. He asked for any small or mid-size businesses to reach out and ask for assistance during a time when locals are remaining away from the public. He used this information to launch an online marketplace where people could purchase gift cards for local businesses.
The two food-truck owners that helped Lawrence provide meals to first responders had connected with the defensive end through his Hot Boyz website. Ahmer Khan, the operator of Cousins Maine Lobster food truck, had recently purchased hundreds of pounds of lobster for the now-canceled Magnolia Spring at the Silos event. Lawrence's donation of meals made it possible for him to use all of this inventory.
"Obviously, us being a food truck business, we're associated with mass-gathering events, going out to farmers markets, breweries, festivals," Khan told the Dallas Morning News. "So we've taken a huge hit. All of that has been shut down for us ever since the news came out. ... It means a lot for us for [Cowboys players like Lawrence] to help cover some of our cost; we're on the hook for all of this inventory. To be able to donate to first responders at an event like this is great for us."
(Photo Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images)