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Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is sending frozen meals and pastries to employees at fire stations, police stations, and hospitals. Photo courtesy of Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

More Inspiring Culinary Industry Initiatives to Make You Smile

Wineries, restaurants, nonprofits, and more are finding creative ways to bring relief to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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There are so many acts of generosity and caring taking place along the Front Range to help those effected by the COVID-19 pandemic—it’s truly incredible. We plan to continue sharing these affirming hospitality stories on a weekly basis, because we can all use something to smile about. From doling out free wine for healthcare workers to sending 100,000 cans of water to Native American reservations, here are the inspiring initiatives happening across Colorado right now.

For even more reasons to smile, check out these other good deeds from the Colorado hospitality industry.

In partnership with Oskar Blues Brewery, Ball Corporation, and Coyote Logistics, Longmont’s Can’d Aid is sending more than 100,000 cans of water to the Navajo Nation and Hopi Tribe in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah to assist with COVID-19 relief. The reservations are considered extreme food deserts, with just 10 grocery stores supplying 180,000 people on Navajo land and one grocery store standing on Hopi land. Can’d Aid also donated a truckload of canned water to the Food Bank of the Rockies, and has started a People-Powered Pen Pal Network to connect senior citizens and children from across the country. Help power the organization’s do-goodery here.

Curtis Park Deli is celebrating its 2nd anniversary in Cherry Creek by giving back to laid-off restaurant workers. Anyone out of work due to the pandemic can get a free carryout sandwich on Monday, April 20. Additionally, on that day the deli will match any customer donations  to Feed It Forward, a group paying local restaurants to provide food for frontline workers.

You already know that Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support local farms while getting the best local produce for yourself, but what do you know about CSCs? Looking for new sources of revenue during this crisis, Boulder-based mobile beverage catering company Cocktail Caravan launched a CSA-style Community Supported Cocktail program, which delivers farm-fresh cocktail and mocktail mixers to members on a weekly basis. To help out those who could really use a good, fresh drink right about now, Cocktail Caravan is donating CSCs to hard-working heroes, too; nominate someone in the brand’s Contact Us section.

To encourage creativity during self-quarantine and raise money for the hospitality industry employee relief fund Another Round Another Rally, a team of creatives started We Create Anyway.  Submit your quarantined creative offerings—A song! A painting! A baked good!—for the chance to win cash and prizes.

The Colorado Restaurant Foundation’s Angel Relief Fund has raised $185,000 in grants for hospitality industry employees who are unable to work due to COVID-19. As impressive as that already is, the nonprofit’s goal is to give out $1 million to 2,000 workers impacted by the crisis. If you can help, click here. If you need help, fill out a grant application here.

Re:Vision has always been focused on keeping its Westwood community fed via a community garden program and co-op grocery store, but with more people in need because of the coronavirus crisis, the organization has shifted from growing food to preparing and distributing it. As Westword reported, chefs Edwin Sandoval (Xatrucho), Damaris Ronkanen (Cultura Craft Chocolate), Jose Avila (X’tabai Yucateco), Andrea Murdoch (Four Directions Cuisine), and Noe Bermudez (Kahlo’s and Tarasco’s) are cooking 250 meals a day for Re:Vision for residents of the neighborhood. To help keep it going, donate to Re:Vision here.

The Pay It Forward board at Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery. Photo courtesy of Tributary Food Hall

Their tasting rooms may be closed, but wineries can still ship wine to make ends meet. My New Cellar, an online resource for wine lovers and makers, supports wineries impacted by COVID-19 by grouping special vino deals to help people build their dream wine cellars. Wine drinkers get a good deal, and wine makers get a boost in business.

Olé & Obrigado, a seller of fine wines from Spain and Portugal, is donating 50 percent of profits on the sales of seven select bottles through May to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, a nonprofit to aid displaced workers, provide meals, and help restaurants reopen when the time comes. Grab a case at Mondo Vino.

Tributary Food Hall & Drinkery in Golden launched a Pay It Forward board, which gives customers the chance to purchase items to be redeemed by healthcare workers, parents, teachers—or anyone who might need a little good will and good food. The items range from to-go meals to fresh produce from the curbside pick-up farmers’ market.

Ah-So canned wines will give 10 percent of all profits this year to Nurses House, a group that helps RNs who are seriously ill or injured with housing and medical expenses. The nonprofit is personal for Ah-So co-founder Carrie Chiappetta, who also works as a full-time ICU nurse in Denver.

To thank Denver’s dedicated healthcare workers, Bigsby’s Folly is rewarding them with a free pint of wine (after their shifts are over, of course.) Show a healthcare ID badge curbside anytime this month for some on-the-house juice.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts and SAME Café are sending frozen family meals and fresh pastries to hardworking employees at fire stations, police stations, and hospitals. Send along some comfort food here.

Teriyaki Madness is delivering free teriyaki bowls to healthcare workers via their Pay-it-Forward campaign. The company matches the $75 cost of the bowls, feeding up to 10 hungry workers. To sponsor a team, click here.

 

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