When the going gets tough, the restaurant community is well known for giving back.  From “dining for a cause” events to food drives that benefit the community, restaurants have a long history of charitable giving. Lending a hand during times of natural disaster is no exception.


Restaurants Giving Back

When the recent derecho hit Cedar Rapids, Iowa, restaurants in the city rallied to help citizens displaced by the storm. Setting up operations in some of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods, businesses like Marquee Pizza and Persis Cedar Rapids began offering free meals to affected families.

Other restaurants, such as Willy Ray’s Q Shack and Caribbean Kitchen, not only began serving free meals, but they also began taking donations to buy groceries and to serve even more free meals. Caribbean Kitchen even began delivering groceries to displaced residents by parking in local neighborhoods and distributing essentials to those in need. 

It wasn’t long before other types of local businesses caught on to the generosity of these restaurants, such as Price Mechanical, who donated money to fund even more free meals at Mexican restaurant El Bajio. El Bajio then used the generous donation to make free tacos and rice for the community.

In Other Communities

In Santa Cruz, California, Saturn Cafe recently began offering free curbside food to patrons displaced by the California wildfires. The vegetarian diner has long been a staple of the seaside community and wanted to give back, despite not being open for dine-in service due to local COVID-19 restrictions.  Saturn is currently accepting donations to make more free meals here.

In nearby San Francisco, California, restaurant Che Fico is using donations from generous local sponsors to create family meal kits, which it is distributing to San Francisco families in need. The meal kits include enough food to feed up to three people and are free of charge.

In Conclusion

While what each of these restaurants has done to give back varies by both the restaurant and the needs of the community, what they all have in common is a generosity of spirit and the tenacity to help keep their community afloat during trying times.