H-E-B honors firefighters by 'Helping Heroes'

Glynis Crawford Smith/The Highlander

Marble Falls Fire Rescue and AirEvac personnel enjoy homemade Mexican food Friday, compliments of the H-E-B Helping Heroes program.

By Glynis Crawford Smith

The Highlander

H-E-B partners (employees) in Marble Falls served up a homemade lunch for the firefighters and emergency medical personnel at the Marble Falls fire station on Friday, Sept. 8, as part of H-E-B’s company-wide Helping Heroes program.

Similar outreach was taking place with other partners at 719 neighborhood fire stations across Texas, including 165 stations in Central Texas. The company's Helping Heroes project honors the Texas first responders for their dedication and steadfast service. Partners will prepare meals for firefighters and provide other means of support to their local stations. This year, H-E-B will adopt 719 fire stations statewide, including 165 stations in the central Texas area.

At first in Marble Falls, firefighters would find breakfast served, but nine years ago the local H-E-B kicked it up a notch.

“Dee Nugent wanted them to have a full meal and she's been doing that since day one,” said fellow H-E-B partner Tracy Rhine. “We filled the kitchen refrigerator, too. They should have food for a week.”

Up in that kitchen Nugent and partner Laura Robb were setting out the feast as firefighters and the emergency teams from AirEvac and Marble Falls Area Emergency Medical Service began to arrive in shifts.

“Every year we have a theme,” said Nugent. “This year it is Mexican.”

“We have chicken, pork and beef tamales with carne asada and rice and beans,” said Robb. “Everything in the pico de gallo came straight from my garden at home.”

“We are proud of the H-E-B support for first responders and for the victims of Hurricane Harvey,” said H-E-B Store Director Greg Barton.

He and Rhine said proudly that on Wednesday H-E-B owner Charles Butt had added $5 million to the J.J. Watt Foundation relief fund, above and beyond the company's direct donations to relief efforts.
“Every year, our partners look forward to giving back to local firefighters who dedicate their lives to their communities,” said Winell Herron, H-E-B Group vice president of public affairs, diversity and environmental affairs. “During this time of crisis in Texas, we are especially thankful to our first responders who have shown remarkable courage and aided those affected by Hurricane Harvey. H-E-B’s Helping Heroes is an essential part of our continued commitment of giving back to the communities we serve.”

Helping Heroes provides a meaningful way for partners to acknowledge and support local firefighters. This community service project recognizes Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance, paying tribute to the first responders who risked and lost their lives during the World Trade Center attack.

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