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The chicken dinners provided by Jody Stay and Pizza Barn feature chicken, mashed potatoes and a roll. 

Princeton’s Pizza Barn continues to stay busy providing chicken dinners for the community despite COVID-19’s grip on the nation. In the weeks since the local restaurant decided to provide the dinners for the elderly, it has donated over 140 meals for those who have reached out.

The idea was a spur of moment thing, according to Pizza Barn’s owner, Jody Stay. “I was in our walk-in cooler and I was concerned at all the food that would perish and if there was a good way to get rid of it,” explained Stay. “It was just a way to get rid of food at first but it was really well received and I didn’t think it would come to that.”

Starting with take-home pizza kits for students who would be missing school lunches and then to family meals, Stay wanted to create something that would be aimed towards the elderly. Now just a couple weeks later, the Pizza Barn continues to churn out the free chicken dinners as well as others to aid the community.

At first, Stay initially turned down tips from those who received the dinner, but declining the tips would lead to more of a fuss than it was worth said Stay. “Now the tips go into funding more chicken dinners.”

With word of the dinners spreading via Pizza Barn’s Facebook and Instagram page, Stay and the restaurant now deliver the meals to not only the Princeton community but neighboring Zimmerman as well. With the idea starting small, Stay is happy with how Princeton has pulled together over the dinners, as she feels he has gained the most from the free meals. “I can’t believe it. I am at a loss for words. This community has pulled together so beautifully. I feel like I have benefited way more from distributing this than anyone getting the meal,” said Stay, sharing tales of her deliveries and those who she has met during the process.

“I have some great stories of people I have met or people that I have known, but haven’t seen in years. I have brought several meals to a woman that is over 100 years old and quite a conversationalist, the stories she has told me in my brief visits make me want to know her better. I promised her when this was all done, I would visit,” said Stay.

In this time of uncertainty, look for the Pizza Barn and Stay to continue to deliver the chicken dinners to those who are in need.

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