and Helping Our Restaurants Survive
UPDATE: ALTHOUGH WE HAVE PASSED OUR STATED GOAL, EVERY $50 CONTRIBUTION WILL GENERATE A VOUCHER FOR A TAKE-OUT, FAMILY-STYLE DINNER FOR FOUR FROM A PARTICIPATING RESTAURANT FOR A FAMILY IN NEED - AND SUPPORT OUR LOCAL RESTAURANTS. SO LET'S PUT THE GOAL IN OUR REAR VIEW MIRROR AND DO THIS!
Have you seen the lines? The lines of people at the Berkshire Food Project, the Friendship Center Food Pantry, and other providers of groceries and meals. Standing in line are people who have lost their jobs and their support systems as a result of Covid-19. Many never had to stand in line before and have never been unable to afford food and the other basic necessities of life for themselves and their families. Those agencies coming to their assistance are doing exemplary work and deserve our continued support. With winter coming to the Berkshires and the economic consequences worsening, there’s even more we can do. The need far exceeds the resources.
Local restaurants that have suffered so greatly themselves in the pandemic have stepped forward to make sure that the hungry are fed, especially around the holidays. Perhaps you have seen some of these examples on social media or in the news. Their efforts have been inspiring, and now we – you – have an opportunity to help them as well.
The organizers of the North Berkshire Tip Jar campaign established to help unemployed servers and bartenders were approached by the owners of some local restaurants to start another GoFundMe campaign and partner with them to expand the availability of meals for our North Berkshire neighbors in need in the cold months ahead. We jumped at the opportunity.
Here’s how it works. Each participating restaurant will prepare a menu of Feeding North Berkshire take-out options. For each $50 it receives, Feeding North Berkshire will issue a certificate redeemable for a family-style meal for four from that menu at any of the participating restaurants. A donation of $100 will provide a healthy meal to two families of four. A donation of $250 will feed five families. You get the idea. The certificates will be available for distribution to individuals and families in need by Berkshire Community Action Council.
Participating restaurants include Boston Sea Foods, Capitol Restaurant, Desperados (North Adams), Freight Yard Pub, Grazie, Mingo's Sports Bar & Grill, PUBLIC eat + drink, Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza (North Adams), Renee’s Diner, Trail House Kitchen and Bar and Trés Niños Taqueria.
You also have the option to designate a specific family to receive a meal. You can by-pass the GoFundMe campaign and make those arrangements directly with the restaurant of your choice. Or you can give us the name and address of the recipient by email to [email redacted] immediately after making your GoFundMe contribution, and we will send a certificate directly to them. If you do that, please tell us whether you’d like us to tell them who purchased the meal for them or remain anonymous.
By partnering with local restaurants, contributors to Feeding North Berkshire will also be supporting those restaurants and the people who work in them as occupancy restrictions, the unavailability of outdoor dining, and fear engendered by the surge, puts them at risk. The photo on our landing page of the dining room of Grazie on the Friday after Thanksgiving – traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year – speaks volumes. Of course, you can always support your favorite restaurants by ordering from their take-out menu and by purchasing gift cards for holiday giving and/or your own future use.
You can help make the holiday season and the cold Berkshire winter a little more tolerable for our struggling neighbors with a warm meal and the message of your caring that comes with it. And, in the process, help the local restaurants you love make it through this crisis.
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- Margaret Scrivens
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