Sometimes there’s no better way to thank someone than to fix them a plate of food.
The Plant City Pig Men, a group of residents that have barbecued together since 1991, know that as well as anyone. That’s why they spent this past Saturday, Oct. 3, smoking for South Florida Baptist Hospital workers and local first responders.
“We usually do just a barbecue for the neighbors and family members once a year,” Pig Men member George Padilla said. “This year we decided, with everything going on in the world, to do something for these first responders… we got a bunch of people together and we started doing what we do. We just grill.”
The Pig Men made it happen with help from around the Plant City community. In fact, the idea to have a barbecue was first pitched to Padilla and Dr. John Aime by Lisa Molinari. Aime coordinated with the hospital to get access to its Oak Avenue auxiliary lot next to Maryland Fried Chicken and the Pig Men rounded up hundreds of pounds of food to cook and give away. Padilla said there was more than 200 pounds of pork cooked that day, and six turkeys, beans, cole slaw, cookies and bottled water were also served.
Others who stepped up to lend their support include Brewington’s Towing, JC’s Sandwich Shop, AEC Services Inc., Dr. Dan Middlebrooks and First Call-First Responder Church, Toufayan Bakery and Josh Royse, to name a few.
“For us, personally, we’ve been seeing a lot of negativity between the COVID and between the first responders,” Molinari said. “This is a ‘thank you.’ It’s giving them support and letting them know that those of us in the community back them, we appreciate the long hours that everybody’s putting in… it was a great opportunity for us to get together and do something.”