Raleigh mother, officer gets thousands in free groceries

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Lea Martin is a mother of 3 and was nominated for the award by her coworkers (WTVD)

Lea Martin, a Raleigh police officer, thought she was attending a work meeting when she showed up to the Junior League of Raleigh Tuesday morning, but the spotlight quickly turned to this single mother of three.

"This is not where I was supposed to be," Martin giggled. "They lied to me!"

Martin, a 15 year veteran of the police department, is one of 15 mothers across the country getting praise for going above and beyond the call of duty when she isn't in uniform.

Armour and Food Lion teamed up to give her $2,500 in free groceries as part of the 'Great Moms' campaign.

"Police officers are people of service who do a phenomenal job every day. They go out, they risk their lives and they really do live a life of service. And Ms. Lea Martin is showing the balance of police officers -- that they are human beings, and they're individuals who not only make an impact in their community, but they go home everyday," said Sharnell Weathersby, a spokesperson for Armour.

Martin does it all, from coaching her daughters' t-ball teams to driving them to hip-hop dance classes, doing crafts and planning movie nights at home. Her co-workers nominated Martin for the award.

"I know there are a lot of moms out there that I work with that are single and have kids as well that are very deserving of this," she said.

Raleigh's police chief emphasized the value of the gift at a time when many of the city's officers are calling for higher pay.

"We have to spend our paychecks to support our families, so that will serve to supplement that in some way," said Cassandra Deck-Brown.

"It's an honor that someone cares this much about me and my family to do this for me. I'm a coupon queen so any money for my groceries is a blessing for us," said Martin.

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