CHERRY VALLEY (WIFR) -- Area emergency responders are getting a thank you meal for working this holiday.
The Rockford Olive Garden had free meals on hand for some Stateline fire departments, including Rockford, Cherry Valley and Belvidere. This is the 13th year that Olive Garden restaurants nationwide have offered free lunches to serve emergency staff.
"Based on talking to them throughout the week, it all adds up, they have to prepare their meals and get things situated while they're here working," says Erik Hendershot, service manager at Olive Garden. "If we can free them up some time to relax a little bit more while they're here, I'm sure it makes a difference."
More than 800 Olive Garden restaurants made deliveries to some police departments and emergency rooms today.