ROCKINGHAM — A national restaurant chain with a Richmond County location is offering free food to those who help first responders.
Firehouse Subs is gearing up for its H2O for Heroes campaign on Saturday, Aug. 7.
The campaign, now in its ninth year “is a nationwide bottled water drive that aims to equip first responder organizations and community groups with the water supplies they need to support the community’s most vulnerable,” according to Erin Neves, public relations manager for Firehouse Subs.
“As you well know, record-high temperatures continue to be brutal across the state, and there has never been a more critical time for first responders and our fellow citizens to have access to drinking water,” Neves said in an email Monday. “Unfortunately, the demand for drinking water is very high and supply is often low.”
Customers who bring in an unopened 24-pack of bottled water will receive a free medium sub.
Since 2016, the chain’s H2O for Heroes campaign has donated more than 4.1 million bottles of water to first responders, according to Neves.
According to a press release, the water goes to “local fire and police departments, emergency victims, senior and community centers, and more, to aid those in need of water during the hot summer months when dehydration and other heat-related illnesses are most threatening.”
The annual event was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The campaign was started in 2012 by franchisees in the Phoenix, Arizona area to help local crews as wildfires and heat depleted supplies, according to a press release.
“As we come into wildfire season, it’s more important than ever to support our firefighting communities, especially our wildland firefighters,” said Firehouse Subs Franchisee Chris Morris, who has more than a decade of experience as a firefighter in Idaho. “Many people might not know, but wildland firefighters can work in 16 day cycles out in the heat under very grueling conditions. It’s really important to me and my fellow restaurant owners to be able to help them and our local communities stay hydrated during this time, and we’re honored to partner with our guests to make that happen.”
The Rockingham location opened June 25, 2020 in Richmond Plaza.