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Eat and Drink

Beleaguered Colorado Hospitality Community Continues Helping Others

Local groups are doing their parts to feed and assist grocery and healthcare workers, the unhoused, the unemployed, and others in need during the pandemic.

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Need a pandemic pick-me-up? Why not read about some of the incredible acts of kindness that those in the hard-hit hospitality industry are undertaking to help those in need? From feeding grocery store workers to pro bono legal services for restaurants to a CBD ice cream company collecting socks for the homeless, here are a few stories about the helpers. For further day brightening, read about more hospitality industry good deeds here and here.

Lots of restaurants have admirably stepped up and donated food to frontline healthcare workers, but what about those other frontline heroes? We’re talking about the grocery store workers who have been working extra hard to keep shelves stocked and all of us fed. To honor them, Dunbar Kitchen & Taphouse’s chef Daniel Young raised money to cook and deliver meals to the Uptown Safeway, where employees got to sit down and eat a proper Dunbar meal during their shifts. A King Soopers delivery is up next, along with deliveries to local hospitals, too.

Stanley Beer Hall partnered with Colorado Restaurant Response to prepare 1,000 meals a day for people in need throughout Aurora. They’ve been cooking up the packaged meals since April 23 and are contracted to keep the burners lit through the end of May. Even better: Stanley Beer Hall was able to re-hire 13 employees to help out with the effort. Still more good news: BOK Financial gifted Colorado Restaurant Response with $100,000 to keep the meal program — and restaurant jobs — going.

Kingsford, the charcoal and barbecue supply company, is supporting pit masters around the country with $250,000 in grants. Superior’s Wayne’s Smoke Shack got one of the $10,000 donations from Kingsford’s #TogetherWithBBQ program, a good boost to keep the smoker burning and the Texas barbecue coming to local hospitals via the restaurant’s hospital relief efforts.

Molly’s Spirits put together eight — count ‘em, eight! — new initiatives to help out the struggling hospitality industry. Among them: A pledge of $1 for every curbside and delivery sale above $24 to EatDenver’s Double Down Denver program (up to $3,000); a partnership with Coors to donate $1 for every case of selected beers sold to the Colorado Bartender Guild’s Colorado Family Meal to feed laid-off industry employees; and a $1 donation for every bottle of Enotec wine sold to the Colorado Restaurant Foundation’s Angel Relief Fund.

In June, RoseBud CBD ice cream is hosting a sock drive to benefit Denver Homeless Out Loud. Donate new, in-package socks at RoseBud retailers like 12th Avenue Market and Wheat Ridge Poultry and Meats and they’ll pick them up and deliver them to people who need them. Bonus: Purchase socks from Broomfield-based SOS Socks and they’ll donate another pair.

Local nonprofit Can’d Aid is continuing its mission of do-goodery with a new program to gift kids in foster care with bikes, skateboards, and art kits. Here’s how you come in: While you’re stuck at home, visit Can’d Aid’s Do-Goodery at Your Doorstep page to order a kit to assemble. Once it’s ready, Can’d Aid will help you coordinate where to drop off your donation so the kids get their new toys. All funds go to Can’d Aid to keep their programs running, and the cool stuff goes to the foster kids.

In addition to their involvement with Feeding Colorado Heroes and Operation Family Meal — organizations that donate restaurant meals to healthcare workers and laid off hospitality workers, respectively — Restaurant Olivia also dropped off meals to the at-risk single moms and their kids living at Bridge of Hope for Easter and Mother’s Day. Olivia has been keeping their own furloughed employees full of delicious pasta and has fed residents in a subsidized rent apartment building, as well.

Noosa Yoghurt is spreading the love, one impossibly creamy tub of yogurt at a time. The Bellevue, Colorado-based company donated 11,000 yogurts to the Food Bank of the Rockies, 13,000 to local Children’s Hospitals, 9,200 to the local school district, and 1.5 million meals to Feeding America. Noosa says they’ll continue to supply these local organizations with yogurt over the coming weeks, too.

Besides a jolt of caffeine, coffee gives us comfort, and Unravel Coffee wants to share that comfort with hardworking heroes in our community. When you buy two bags of coffee, Unravel will donate and ship a bag of a specialty roasted blend, called The Remedy, to the hero of your choice.

One hundred and twenty-three (and counting) breweries are brewing the same beer to raise money for healthcare, hospitality, and gig economy workers affected by the pandemic. Colorado Strong Pale Ale will be available at your local craft brewery starting this week, and besides the fundraising efforts, it’s made with Colorado ingredients to support our local supply chain. The Left Hand Brewing Foundation and the Colorado Brewers Guild supplied the brewers with the recipe and free ingredients in a statewide effort to keep tasting rooms open and kegs flowing.

Messner Reeves law firm wants to help the hard-hit restaurant industry answer the myriad questions raised by COVID-19 realities. The firm is offering up to four hours of pro bono representation to help with legal advice about leases, the CARES Act, paid sick and family/medical leave, reopening compliance, labor and employment, or any other issues that have popped up since March.

Considering food delivery apps charge commissions and fees on every order, CardFree is stepping up to help independent restaurants use their contact-free ordering and payment system, free of charge. They’re building online stores and helping restaurants prepare for contactless food service going forward — something we’re probably going to start using a whole lot more of in the coming months.

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