Coronavirus News

Dallas restaurants can't stop won't stop giving during the worst times

Dallas restaurants can't stop won't stop giving during the worst times

Cafe Momentum pop-up dinner at CampO
You'd be hard pressed to find a more generous crew than the DFW restaurant world. Photo by Robert Bostick

The coronavirus epidemic has brought out the best in some Dallas people — some Dallas restaurant people — with so many charitable acts that another list needs to be made.

This roundup includes meals for kids, meals for the homeless, and meals for the unemployed. And all of them welcome donations, which means we can all get involved.

Here's some kindness in action:

Café Momentum, the nonprofit restaurant and longtime do-gooder, has begun providing Richardson ISD with 16,000 meals each week to students and families in need. For the next month, Café Momentum is transforming into a food hub, where staff will build meal kits for food-insecure students and their families in our community. Café Momentum will provide RISD with 1,000 boxes, each containing 16 meals per family, to be delivered to 11 apartment complexes where students attend RISD schools.

As of last year, 55 percent of RISD’s approximately 39,000 students were considered economically disadvantaged. The Stand Together Foundation, a Cafe Momentum partner, has pledged to match all online donations dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per donation in this effort.

This not only provides relief to those in need and positively supports Café Momentum’s mission, it allows the restaurant's young men and women to continue working (the Get Shift Done Relief Fund is covering interns' pay) and provides an opportunity for them to be good neighbors and contributing members of their community.

They welcome donations to keep it alive. Go to www.cafemomentum.org and click on the Momentum E.A.T.s section. The Stand Together Foundation, a Café Momentum partner, has pledged to match all online donations dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per donation in this effort.

DRG Concepts, the restaurant group from Mike Hoque that owns Dallas Fish Market, Dallas Chop House, and Wild Salsa, will host a Service Industry free lunch every Tuesday. "The last few weeks have been challenging, to say the least," their statement says. "To show our continued support and gratitude for our restaurant community staff that are out of work, we will have boxed taco lunches every Tuesday while supplies last." It begins Tuesday March 31, and is at Chop House Burger, 1501 Main St. in downtown Dallas, from 12–2 pm.

Norma's Cafe has launched a "Favor a Neighbor Program" that helps customers connect with their neighbors in need. It could be anything from a meal-for-2 to a feast for 200; Norma's will take care of the cooking and delivery.

Norma's has already done meal drop-offs at Dallas 24 Hour Club, Genesis Women’s Shelter, and hospitals and clinics across DFW. Cowboys player DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys players charity program, the Hotboyz, donated 100 meals this week and one anonymous donor bought $1,000 of gift cards from the restaurant to distribute to Dallas' first responders.

Dallasites can send a meal to their preferred recipient or pick from one of Norma's list that includes fire & police stations, City House, Parkland and Parkland Emergency, Plaza Medical Center, Baylor Hospital, and Children's Hospital Dallas. To sponsor a meal, email Lila at Catering@NormasCafe.com.

Eno's Pizza Tavern is working with OurCalling, a faith-based outreach center for the unsheltered homeless, to update the way it serves food in an appropriate socially distant manner. The organization has had to go from cafeteria-style serving hundreds of meals within an hour, to a take-out service operating over several hours.

OurCalling is now preparing nearly 800 meals a day – up from approximately 400 daily before the coronavirus outbreak. (Austin Street Shelter and The Bridge have reduced the number of people they can serve due to gathering restrictions.) OurCalling has hired up to five of Eno's employees who will lend their expertise in expediting boxed orders as well as handling food prep. The City of Dallas has pitched 18 pop-up tents where the homeless can eat while meeting the social-distancing requirements.

Eno's is also doing a "Buy One, Give One" program where you order a pizza and give one at the same time which Eno's will deliver to OurCalling. Call 214-943-9200 or to donate, go to www.ourcalling.org/eat.

Everybody Eats is an initiative by 8020 Concepts, the restaurant company owned by Elias Pope, that gives free meals to families of individuals laid off due to Covid-19. 8020 has turned its restaurants into food production and distribution centers; 8020 Concepts itself has over 500 displaced employees. The program is being operated out of Hero by HG Sply Co., at 3090 Olive St., in Victory Plaza. The program relies on donations. They'll do it until they run out of food and money. The meals vary day to day and are whatever gets donated or they have on hand. It's open Monday-Friday, 6-9 pm.

SalaryMan, the ramen restaurant in Oak Cliff, has launched a program called Food From Friends. Chef/owner Justin Holt says he was trying to find a way to keep revenue coming in and keep employees working. Thanks to a few donations, Salaryman will provide free meals to furloughed service industry workers, starting April 1 while supplies last. Service-industry workers must call to check availability and schedule a pickup. A release says that other restaurants — including Slow Bone, Ka-Tip, Tribal All Day Cafe, Azucar Ice Cream, and Tacos Y Vino — will participate, "pending donations to get the program off the ground." Yep, they just need a little thing called money, and this thing is ready to roll.

The Rustic is doing a promotion to feed chicken sandwiches to hospital workers. You call in to donate a Hot Chicken & Cheese Sandwich for a hospital worker. For every sandwich purchased, The Rustic will match it. The sandwiches are $14.95 plus tax and the program runs through March 29. Call 214-730-0596.