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With COVID-19 affecting employment and more affordable goods having issues staying on shelves, local eatery Prime on the Nine, with the help of sponsors, will be giving out free meals on Saturday, March 28 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. per its Project Dinner initiative.


These meals are prepared by Prime on the Nine and will be available for drive-thru pick up only, at co-sponsor Quick Draw Oil Change on 1103 W. Wyatt Earp Blvd.


"Project Dinner was inspired by a couple of us to rise up and serve our community in a time of need," said Ryan Emery, executive chef at Prime on the Nine. "So, we understood the schools were going to be able to provide lunch and breakfast services for the children during the weekdays, but we started thinking about ‘what about dinner, what about the weekend?’


"This is a way for us to provide a need to the community and ask people to get involved and come together."


Other Project Dinner sponsors include, The Gathering church and Wilroads Gardens Christian Church and they are still looking for more partners with this expanding project.


Moving forward, Emery said, they are hoping to have two-to-three more meal giveaways by next week at multiple locations.


This meal service was launched with the idea that it be primarily for people and families, who are truly struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.


For those better off, Prime on the Nine, located at 1100 Matt Down Lane on the Mariah Hills golf course, is still holding dine-in services as they continue to abide by routine social distancing procedures passed down by Governor Laura Kelly. They can be reached at 620-227-2736.


Local businesses and anyone else interested in assisting can contact 620-408-6576.


Additionally regarding COVID-19, it was announced by Dodge City Public Library executive director Diedre Lemon that the library would close to the public indefinitely.


According to Lemon, the Dodge City Public Library Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, March 24 and voted to keep the library closed to the public.


"The DCPL trustees will meet weekly to reevaluate this ever-changing situation," Lemon said. "We ask patrons to keep the materials they have checked out for now.


"We are also extending due dates of items, so patrons will not accrue fines during this time."


For City of Dodge City officials, the city is in a holding pattern on whether or not a stay-at-home order will be made.


According to city manager Cherise Tieben, city staff is working hard on social distancing, while also providing all of its services that are feasible and compliant with Kansas Department of Health and Environment.


"We have been pushing out a lot of information regarding preventative care and other topics on our social media and our website," Tieben said. "We have plans in place if the state or Ford County decides to move to a stay-at-home order, however, we are hopeful that it will not be necessary.


"If we all work hard at the social distancing maybe that next step will not be necessary."