NC restaurants to Feed the Force as appreciation toward police

Eamon Queeney—The North State Journal
Feed the Force organizers and owners of OMalleys Pub & Restaurant in North Raleigh

RALEIGH — In response to the recent national conversation about strengthening police officers’ relationships with the communities they serve, Yaniv Sharir, the owner of O’Malley’s Pub & Restaurant in Raleigh, decided to show his support of law enforcement by tapping a network of fellow restaurant owners and local businesses to create “Feed the Force.”On Sept. 4-5, more than 100 restaurants are participating in the statewide event, all committed to providing a free meal for uniformed police officers.Sharir said he came up with the idea after the Dallas police shootings and wanted to offset the negativity toward law enforcement.”Each day that you turned on the news you were hearing about something terrible that had happened — police were being ambushed, police were being shot, police were being picketed against and it seemed unfair,” he said. “All we were hearing about were the problems, which is ok too, but we need to counterbalance it. I thought ‘What can I do?'”In July, Sharir and his wife Lisa started planning Feed the Force and began contacting restaurants and police stations. They created posters and started selling shirts as a way to fundraise for The 200 Club of Wake County, an organization that provides immediate financial aid for families of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.”The 200 Club of Wake County is delighted and honored to be designated as the recipient of funds that are collected from Feed the Force t-shirt sales,” Barry Long, the president of the 200 Club of Wake County, said. “Yaniv and Lisa have committed a great deal of time and effort to make this a successful event and the law enforcement community is well-deserving of this.”Feed the Force hopes donate at least $3,000 to the organization.On the Feed the Force website, a growing list of restaurants and others participating can be found, including the Walnut Street Animal Hospital, which is providing free pet services.Melissa Smith, a technician at Walnut Street Animal Hospital, said she wanted to pay it forward and thank law enforcement.”We want to show everybody — our clients, new clients and the community — all those police officers are there to improve and support our community,” Smith said.Sharir said he wanted the event to be a way he and community members could show their appreciation for law enforcement.”I want to boost the morale of any police officers who are down about what’s going on,” Sharir said. “I want them to get a feeling of ‘Hey there are some people who don’t feel that way.’ And I’d like the community to know that we, as an organization, are definitely behind the police.”