Free Meals and Support: How the Restaurant Industry Is Supporting Others

Dickey's Barbecue provided meals to all of Garland's firefighters.
Dickey's Barbecue provided meals to all of Garland's firefighters. courtesy of Dickey's Barbecue Pit
It appears the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t ending anytime soon, and while some restaurants have had to shut their doors for the second time in a matter of months, they are still hard at work giving back to the community.

The pandemic has deeply affected first responders and service industry workers, and many local restaurants are making sure these essential workers have meals.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit

Multiple locations

Earlier this month, Dickey’s Barbecue provided boxed lunches to Garland’s 11 fire stations, feeding all 250 Garland firefighters. Additionally, all Dickey’s locations will sell a limited-edition first responder big yellow cup, the proceeds of which will provide safety equipment, such as helmets, shields and masks, to first responders.

EveryoneEatz at Vital Dental

5101 McKinney Ranch Parkway, Suite 170, McKinney

Friday, EveryoneEatz will provide 3,000 meals to anyone who comes to Vital Dental in McKinney from noon to 2 p.m. The Dallas Cowboys will distribute the meals, and those picking them up will receive ice cream and a free dental kit.

Maple Leaf Diner

12817 Preston Road, Suite 129 (North Dallas)

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Maple Leaf Diner is collecting non-perishable items to go to Minnie's Food Pantry, which is providing meals to families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Requested items include spaghetti, rice, cereal, jelly and canned meat.

Staff Meal Special

Since its launch in April, Staff Meal has provided more than 25,000 meals to furloughed service industry workers. Now, Staff Meal Special will continue its mission, as well as provide funds to restaurants. With the funds, each restaurant will create approximately 100 meal kits, each of which will serve two people.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Many local distilleries have been using ingredients to mass produce hand sanitizer. Last Thursday, Tito's Handmade Vodka provided more than 44,000 bottles of hand cleanser to people at Fair Park. They have also given hand sanitizer to more than 500 organizations in Central Texas.
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Alex Gonzalez has been a contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2018. He is a Dallas native whose work has appeared in Local Profile, MTV News and the Austin American-Statesman. He has eclectic taste in music and enjoys writing about art, food and culture.
Contact: Alex Gonzalez