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Local

Cafe, church team up to provide lunches to Putnam County kids

L.J.’s Garden Cafe, Magnolia Methodist Church helping to feed students who are out of school

Peggy Smith (left), a waitress, and Laurie Smith (right), owner, hand Ayla Berlin a free lunch at  L.J.'s Garden Cafe in Magnolia. L.J.'s, with help from volunteers and church members, started serving free lunches for Putnam County school students last week, after schools were shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Peggy Smith (left), a waitress, and Laurie Smith (right), owner, hand Ayla Berlin a free lunch at L.J.'s Garden Cafe in Magnolia. L.J.'s, with help from volunteers and church members, started serving free lunches for Putnam County school students last week, after schools were shut down to slow the spread of coronavirus.

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MAGNOLIA — With children out of school in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, village residents in Magnolia are making sure they get a lunch.

L.J.’s Garden Cafe, with help from volunteers and church members, started serving free lunches for Putnam County school students Tuesday through Friday last week, said restaurant owner Laurie Smith.

She’s also the mayor, and her waitress, Peggy Smith, is the local librarian.

On Mondays, Magnolia Methodist Church will provide lunches, Laurie Smith said.

The restaurant is providing curbside takeout food, and can provide lunches (choice of hot dog, grilled cheese or peanut butter and jelly with chips) outside of the restaurant or delivered in a five-mile radius.

Why are they doing it?

“Because we’re a remote area, the kids are home from school and a lot of the parents are still working,” Laurie Smith said.

The cafe also is offering curbside to-go meals, and offers deliveries of those within the five-mile radius as well. Call 815-869-3600 or 815-257-7051 (cell).

The cafe is closed Monday, open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday (tacos) and Friday (fish), and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday (spaghetti), Thursday (oven fried chicken and salads), Saturday (country fried steak) and Sunday (hot beef plate).

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