When the COVID started and restaurants closed and were cut back Joe with Joe’s Italian Restaurant on North Frazier in Conroe kept all his employees on. They went to drive up service and several delivery options. With a large amount of food he had and some of his vendors with food that would not be selling Joe bought it up. He started with free meals for First Responders, then nurses, then entire hospital staff but he still wasn’t satisfied. Conroe has helped his business since 2006 when he accidentally ran up on Conroe while heading to Beaumont. He loved the city and found a building and opened up. Today with many local officials on hand and his entire staff Joe served just over 5,000 free meals to anyone who could drive up. A few people insisted on giving a small donation. Joe said the meals were free so those donations he gave his employees as a tip. District Attorney Brett Ligon, Judge Phil Grant, and Wanye Mack, Constable Phil Cash, Gene DeForest, and Chris Jones, Robert Walker candidate for Precinct 1 Commissioner, and many others volunteered their time to help serve. Joe’s crews started cooking just after 9 pm when they closed. All night food was cooked. Over 40 cases of chicken, cases upon cases of heavy cream, pasta, salad, and bread. At 10:30 this morning they started to serve. It continued to just before 2 pm when the last car drove up. During the noon hour, vehicles have lined both directions on waiting to get in, however, the lines moved quickly. After today’s 5,000 meals Joe has served a total of just over 50,000 free meals.