The fast food chain is helping out in the Carolinas with those hardest hit by the storm
In these times, natural disasters like Hurricane Florence aren’t rare exceptions, but annual inevitabilities. State and federal governments obviously have a role to play in preparation, rescue, and recovery. But even in a perfect world, it takes a whole hosts of individuals, organizations, and even private businesses to provide aid and comfort to affected communities.
To that end, Denny’s is sending its “Mobile Relief Diner” to the Carolinas this week to feed the residents, first responders and volunteers who’ve suffered through the worst of the storm. As its name implies, it’s a fully-functional kitchen on the back of a truck capable of rolling into an affected area and serving up free hot meals to those who need them most. The truck and its staff will coordinate with government officials on the ground, relief organizations, and local Denny’s franchises in order to determine where its pancakes, bacon, and coffee can do the most good.
This isn’t the first time the Mobile Relief Diner has hit the road. Last year, a more ad hoc version of the concept was sent to Houston and South Florida in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The truck dished out 14,000 free meals over the course of two weeks, indicating to Denny’s that there might be a need for a more permanent version. The newest iteration recently underwent a test deployment in Northern California, where it served breakfast to those fighting and fleeing the area’s wildfires.
Now, it sounds like the real thing is ready to go. “The Mobile Relief Diner allows us do what we do best by going out into local communities to offer a hot and comforting meal during a time when they could really use it the most,” said Denny’s CMO John Dillon. “Knowing the devastation that Hurricane Florence has created and will continue to create in the Southeast, it is very important for us to deploy the Mobile Relief Diner straight into those communities to help the displaced as they work to get back on their feet.”
Denny’s isn’t the only late night breakfast spot that’s made an effort to coordinate relief for the flood-soaked Carolinas this month. Waffle House and its “storm command center” have been instrumental in helping organizations like FEMA assess Florence’s impact on the region while also cutting prices and keeping their doors open where they can. In the case of both diners, it’s an indicator of the roles they play in their local communities.
It’ll take a herculean effort for residents of North and South Carolina to get back on their feet and return to life as they know it. But maybe the chance to enjoy a hot meal from a makeshift Denny’s on the back of an 18-wheeler can help restore some sense of normalcy, if only for a little while. To see where the Mobile Relief Diner is headed, check for updates on its Twitter account.