A Long Island deli owner who gave away thousands of sandwiches to rescue workers in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will attend the State of the Union address this month.
Congressman Lee Zeldin invited Donato Panico to attend the annual event in Washington on Jan. 30. It will be President Trump’s first State of the Union address.
In September 2001, Panico loaded up a catering truck with food from his Smithtown deli, Panico’s Community Market, and drove to Ground Zero.
He ended up spending 10 straight days sleeping in his truck as he fed rescue workers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Panico is retiring to focus all of his time on Heros 4 Our Heroes, a nonprofit he founded that feeds police officers, emergency responders and veterans.
In a press release announcing the trip, Zeldin said Panico “embodies the values so many across Long Island look up to, and it is my honor to attend the State of the Union address alongside someone who has sacrificed so much to better the lives of others.”