ROCK HILL, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — In December, FOX 46 and its parent company Nexstar launched a campaign to feature remarkable women in our area. We asked you to nominate the remarkable women in your life and the response was amazing!
Rock Hill native Amanda Riggan is dedicated to helping the heroes in her community. That’s why she founded Hungry Heroes in 2018, a non-profit dedicated to feeding first responders, veterans and military personnel.
Her story begins with a person she didn’t even know at all: York County Detective Mike Doty.
On Jan. 17, 2018, Detective Doty was killed in the line of duty while responding to a call, but so many people in her beloved community did know him well, and they were mourning the loss of a man who had served the area for more than 12 years.
Meanwhile, Amanda, also a Fed-Ex driver, was deeply affected by what she saw on her route one day.
“So the day they buried Mike Doty at Calvary Church, that was my route and I pulled over, and I just started crying,” Amanda said. “I didn’t know him or his family. Just seeing all the police cars from all different states, all over the nation—Canada, Texas, New York, it just touched me, the brotherhood of how they all came together.”
Amanda wanted to physically do something to help, to show her appreciation. What better way to do that, than with a hot meal?
She grew up watching her dad at the grill, and baking with mom. Through trial and error, she learned the art of making good barbeque.
“So I taught myself and when this came about to feed them, barbeque goes a long way. It’s good, it’s simple,” Amanda said.
With a good helping of community support, Hungry Heroes was born. She started local, serving the Rock Hill Police Department. Then, every weekend, Amanda would load up her grills and head to a different agency. During the pandemic, she’s even found a way to help local businesses, while still feeding first responders.
Get breaking news alerts with the Queen City News mobile app. It’s FREE! Download for iOS or Android
“They would help us out and we would go order for first responders from them, so it’s kind of like a win-win. Help locally, help them keep their doors open when they’re going through a rough time. They can’t have people sitting in their restaurants, so we would pick up to-go meals, so it kind of brought the community together again.”
It’s a lot for one person to handle, and Hungry Heroes was soon participating in so many events, that Amanda needed some help.
She now has a great support team of people, one of which is friend and Hungry Heroes board member Alison Partlow.
“I think Amanda is very selfless. She is very passionate about caring for others, and it’s something that she lives and breathes every day. She’s very conscious of her impact to other people and how she can make a positive change. It goes from a small gesture to a large gesture, it doesn’t matter how big or small,” said Partlow, who nominated Amanda.
Amanda is also a mom, dog lover, and Traeger Grill ambassador. As for Hungry Heroes, her hope is to see it grow even more, with local Hungry Heroes chapters starting up everywhere.