A group of local neighbors found a way to help both a struggling restaurant and a local soup kitchen at the same time.
When Kathleen Carroll and her neighbors heard that Stuffed Grass Fed Burgers of Montclair, New Jersey, had been feeling the economic effects of the coronavirus, they all pooled $1,200 to purchase frozen meat from the owner’s inventory.
Then neighbor Emily Grand came up with the idea to donate the meat to Toni’s Kitchen, a local soup kitchen.
“I just sent a note around everybody and said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna buy some food, if you want some here’s how to do it. And [Grand] said, ‘I’m in, but let’s donate the food to Toni’s,” Carroll told NJ.com. “It all happened within just a couple of days, zoom zoom zoom. I think people want to feel like they’re doing something.”
Toni’s Kitchen began in 1982 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Montclair and has been on the front lines in providing thousands of meals and deliveries to those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
The soup kitchen also has a partnership with two school lunch programs and senior services organizations to ensure both vulnerable populations can get the food they need.
Toni’s Kitchen gave a shout-out on Instagram to Stuffed Grass Fed Burgers for the food donation, urging those who would like to make a monetary or food donation to go on their website.
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Thank you to Dan from @stuffed_grassfedburgers for helping us feed those in need. Restaurants may be closed but business owners' hearts are open. We appreciate how our wonderful #community is helping us get through this challenging time. If you would like to make a food or monetary donation, please head to our website. Link in bio. We need your help now more than ever. Thank you! #montclair #montclairnj #bloomfield #bloomfieldnj #neighborsfeedingneighbors #toniskitchen #spreadkindness
Dan Campeas, the owner of Stuffed Grass Fed Burgers, said business is down 70 percent since the coronavirus outbreak began, but he has modified his takeout and delivery menu to include frozen beef, chicken, hot dogs, turkey, and veggie burgers for customers to cook at home.
But he is appreciative of the neighborhood’s support.
“It’s like the best of both worlds,” Campeas said. “I mean, I think the nicest thing that I’ve seen especially in Montclair is just the amount of attention to small businesses people are showing, and I just think I think it’s awesome. I hope it stays when everything comes back to normal because we need it.”