Coconut Grove BID pays restaurants to feed the needy
The Coconut Grove Business Improvement District has relaunched its Grove Stove program to help offset the financial burden endured by restaurants, feed those in need and fuel the neighborhood’s economic recovery.
Initially launched in September for seven weeks, the business improvement district has extended its meal distribution program through Jan. 7. Collaborating with local charities and foodie-focused startup organization OOjEE, Grove restaurants will provide quality meals for community members suffering from food insecurity.
With $150,000 dedicated to the program, 14 participating area restaurants are getting $15 per meal for up to 50 meals per week. Restaurants that have and will continue to provide 50 meals per week for the program’s total length of 14 weeks will also receive a $10,000 grant.
Since the initial launch, Grove Stove has distributed more than 3,200 meals and it is anticipated to top 6,000 by the end of the program, said Ken Russell, the improvement district’s chairman and City of Miami commissioner.
“We are fueling the economic recovery of our neighborhood restaurants adversely affected by the pandemic and supporting individuals hit hardest by the current health crisis at the same time,” he said. “What glues these restaurants with those in need are the non-profits groups.”
Participating local charity organizations distributing the hot meals to the community include the Grove Crisis Network, Grove Outreach and St. James Baptist Church, Mr. Russell said. “Residents just know to go there for help, and right now we are seeing long food lines. The need is very huge,” he added.
Opening their doors for business just four weeks ago, Krüs Kitchen’s Josh Hackler said Grove Stove was a great initiative to get on board with. “We are able to nourish those in need and I believe it’s a fair price what the BID is offering for each meal.”
Mr. Hackler said his team launched Krüs Kitchen at 3413 Main Hwy. as a virtual kitchen and online brand, where patrons can download the restaurant’s app and order for delivery within a six-mile radius or pickup.
Obtaining the full support from the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District has been a smart move to make, especially when opening a restaurant during the pandemic, he continued.
“Because we are a smaller business with 10 employees, every dollar counts,” Mr. Hackler said. “It’s a type of situation that benefits all involved, with the community getting the help it needs to restaurant operations and staffing.”