Columbus firefighters turned a sizeable donation of food from Subway into a chance to help those less fortunate by giving the food away.

The firefighters received a call Thursday from the Subway on 25th Street in Columbus asking if the department was interested in food that was intended for an event that was canceled because of flooding, said Capt. Mike Wilson, Columbus fire department spokesman.

Subway delivered the food to the fire department administrative offices downtown. But while that was happening, firefighters made some calls to local agencies to offer to provide lunch on behalf of the restaurant and the fire department. The food was in two large Subway bags and had sandwiches, chips and cookies.

Firefighters packaged up and delivered the food by fire engine to CHIRP (Columbus Homeless Independence and Resiliency Program), Recovery Engagement Center, Horizon House and Turning Point, all agencies that provide services to individuals and families who are homeless, recovering from addiction or have experienced domestic violence, Wilson said.

The food was delivered about 10:30 a.m., in time to help feed some children being served by the agencies who were out of school because of the recent flooding in Columbus, Wilson said.

Wilson said it is not uncommon for fire, police and emergency medical services personnel to receive food donations.

“Our crews really enjoyed paying it forward, thanks to Subway’s generosity” Wilson said of the opportunity to give away the Subway food to the agencies and people who are being helped there.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.