Minneapolis restaurants donate kitchens, chefs to help provide meals for those in need

A group of Minneapolis restaurants and caterers teamed up with Second Harvest Heartland to prepare meals to those in need during the COVID-19 outbreak -- and they're asking others to join in.

Monday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered all bars and restaurants to shut down dine-in operations, only allowing them to provide curbside or delivery services. This leaves many workers with extra time on their hands.

So, the hunger relief organization Second Harvest Heartland teamed up with Loaves and Fishes to distribute prepared meals from the kitchens and teams of Chowgirls Killer Catering, Restaurant Alma and The Bachelor Farmer. 
"As Minnesotans stay home in an effort to keep the entire community safe as concerns regarding COVID-19 grow, and on the heels of the state’s emergency closing of restaurants’ dine-in offerings, the hospitality industry is left with few patrons, an abundance of food and teams without work," the group wrote in a press release.

Through the initiative, called Minnesota’s Central Kitchen, crews will prepare food for takeout and then deliver it to hunger-relief programs. The plan is to provide 200 to 500 meals a day initially, eventually ramping up to 2,000 meals a day. 
“The coronavirus has put stress on our industry and we’re in touch with what it means to go without,” Alex Roberts, chef and owner at Alma said in the release. “We don’t have customers for the time being, but we do have food, we do have chefs, we do have line cooks. Let’s use them to feed folks who need a good meal as we face down the virus. I challenge my many great local restaurant and hospitality partners to join me in this effort.”
The team also encourages the public to make donations to Second Harvest Heartland and local food shelves.

its mighty network of partners continue to provide meals for the most vulnerable among us. 

For those of us who choose to cook for and serve people as a profession, the thought of not being able to do so is heartbreaking," Jonathan Gans, executive chef of The Bachelor Farmer, said in the release. "We hope that, through Second Harvest Heartland, even though many of our businesses will be affected by this pandemic, we will still be able to feed and take care of those who need it most during these difficult times. A cook needs to cook, and that’s what I intend to do. Please join us if you can.”
Any restaurants interested in donating their kitchens, remaining food, teams and talent are encouraged to contact Second Harvest Heartland’s food rescue emerging streams developer Dianne Wortz at dwortz@2harvest.org.