Incline Serves provides nearly 9,000 meals, helping restaurants
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Incline Village-based nonprofit startup Incline Serves has not only helped feed community members but it also has contributed to keeping local restaurants in business.
Organizer Mary Danahey looked around at the impacts the coronavirus was having on the community and started thinking about ways she could help.
“That led to the idea of partnering with local restaurants to feed those in need,” Danahey said in a press release. “That way we could at least try to keep some local places afloat, keep a few employees working and keep adults and kids from going to bed hungry.”
Incline Serves partnered with John Cheney of Gus’s Open Pit BBQ, Tatiana Martz of both Brewforia Cafe & Market and Bertie’s Hot Chicken and Andrea Gitchell of Azzara’s to get the idea off the ground.
The idea was to raise money which would be spent at local restaurants to purchase meals they could serve to the community, what Danahey’s brother referred to as the “winning combo platter.”
Between April 25-June 26, Incline Serves was able to donate nearly 9,000 meals to Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe and Duffield Youth Program to be given to those in need.
Although BGC was already providing meals before COVID-19 hit, after March 25 when schools closed, the need was amplified.
“Once the COVID crisis hit hard, the number of meals needed jumped from 125 to 300 pretty much overnight. This was consistent with the food request increases seen with Sierra Community House, our local food program,” Danahey said.
At the same time, many businesses were forced to close, or operate at a very limited capacity, meaning they had to furlough staff. Incline Serves raised $60,000 to purchase 300 meals a week from each business, allowing them to rehire some of their staff.
“We feel grateful to have been part of Incline Serves,” said John Cheney of Gus’ BBQ in a press release. “Knowing that each Monday for two months we’d have 300 Incline Serves orders to fill provided a bit of stability to our finances during these trying times. That allowed us to put three valued staff members back on the payroll. Knowing that the orders also helped area residents make it through this crisis made it all the more satisfying preparing them. It confirmed for us why we love having our business located in the Incline community.”
As businesses have reopened and people have gone back to work, “the need for meals has diminished but not disappeared,” Danahey said. BGC is still providing 80-120 meals per night.
Incline Serves has money left over after meeting their goals. With the uncertainty of what the future holds, the money is being kept in an account overseen by the Rotary Club of Incline Village.
“With so much uncertainty, and with many new COVID-19 cases reported locally and around the country, we’re going to hold onto those funds in case we have another shutdown and need to restart the program,” Danahey said. “If things turn out well and we don’t need another phase of the program by the end of the year, we intend to donate any remaining money to The Boys and Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe or Sierra Community House (our local food distribution program).”
For more information, visit http://inclineserves.org.
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