"Loving your neighbor": Valdosta restaurant owner donates food to struggling families

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 19:39:29-04

VALDOSTA, Ga.(WTXL) — As unemployment skyrockets, so has the need for food in South Georgia, where families are waiting hours in distribution lines for a meal.

Fortunately, a local restaurateur is coming to the rescue to help the community Rebound.

Randy DeCoudres owns three successful restaurants in Valdosta. He says business was thriving until the pandemic hit.

"We were coming off a great year, we just started a great year and then all the sudden just like that -- Boom! We're shut down and seventy percent just stops coming in," said Randy DeCoudres, Valdosta Restaurant Owner.

DeCoudres and his partners closed one restaurant completely and went take-out only with the other two.

Despite his hardship, DeCoudres' thoughts turned to the people in the community who were also struggling.

"When the shutdown first happened, I immediately felt inclined to do something and I started looking for some different outlets to help," said DeCoudres.

And he found one at the Living Bridges Ministry.

DeCoudres heard about their food distribution line and it was the perfect match. The ministry needed food to feed the community, and DeCoudres could provide it from his restaurants.

"We are feeding anywhere from 650 to 800 people in one day," said Dane Boruff , the youth pastor at Park Avenue Methodist Church.

Thousands and thousands of meals donated and delivered to Living Bridges Ministries every week and given out to those in need.

"Randy's been awesome. He's done so many of the meals and provided not only the labor, but the majority of the food," said Boruff.

But it's not only food that's being delivered. With it comes hope, comfort and a community coming together.

"It feels good to give at the end of the day, I believe in loving your neighbor," said DeCoudres.

All of the ingredients it take to Rebound.