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Community Curbside Suppers to continue feeding those in need with donations

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused the economic shutdown in Dare County, many locals were left in a position to need food assistance for the first time in their lives.

Sue and John Woolard, owners of Rooster’s Southern Kitchen, jumped into action. They knew they had a central location, a parking lot that could accommodate a drive-through operation, the ability to cook for large numbers of people and a heart for the community that they call home.

The Woolards pulled together an organizing committee of local nonprofit, business and municipal leaders and the Community Curbside Suppers initiative was born.

The first meals were served on April 2, 2020 and the demand was high. After that, hot dinners were available twice a week through May 14. Individuals could just show up on the designated days and pick up meals curbside in a safe and socially-distanced environment. For those unable to get to the pick-up site, dinners were delivered.

Rooster’s chefs, staff and community members all volunteered their time to make this happen. Sixty-eight businesses, individuals and corporate donors contributed over $39,000. More were willing to give if the reopening of the county had been further delayed.

By the end of the campaign, over 12,000 meals were served. In addition, 800 subs, 160 pizzas and thousands of eggs were also provided.

“It makes us very proud to be a part of this giving and caring community which stepped up in a tremendous way to feed those in need,” said Sue Woolard. “We would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who helped to make this happen! We can’t list all of the volunteers and sponsors who committed their time and resources, but a few should have special recognition. A list of lead sponsors can be found on the CommunityCurbsideOBX.com website.”

Key sponsors, volunteers and community partners noted included the Town of Kill Devil Hills and the KDH Police Department, Outer Banks Relief Foundation – Patty McKenna, Performance Food Group, Sysco Foods, Rose Acre Farms, Braswell Family Farms, Jersey Mike’s, Southern Shores Pizza, Peace of the Pie, Metro Rentals – Rob Waddington, Beach Masters – Tom Kelly, Rooster’s Southern Kitchen chefs Kevin and Deanna, chefs Whit of Steamers and Eric of Trio and the Rooster’s staff.

A press release from Beach Food Pantry stated that in a “normal” year, hunger and food insecurity for Dare County residents is estimated at over 11.5%. Knowing that and wanting to maximize the funds that had been given for people in need, Rooster’s donated the remaining funds raised for curbside dinners to the Beach Food Pantry.

Beach Food Pantry is located in Kitty Hawk and has been serving Dare County for 28 years. It provides two weeks of free groceries, based on family size, to individuals and families experiencing a crisis or emergency situation and serves approximately 4,000 people on average each year.

Beach Food Pantry executive director Elisabeth Silverthorne said, “We are thankful for community partners like the Woolards and Rooster’s Southern Kitchen. They have supported us in many ways over the years. They profoundly understand the power of food to both nourish and bring people together. At a time when so many felt isolated and unsure about their future, these dinners gave Dare County residents a safe way to get a full belly; many warm smiles; and a feeling of care and belonging. We are honored to have been part of the Organizing Committee and we are proud to carry on this essential work as the long-term recovery continues.”

For more information about the Beach Food Pantry or how you can get groceries if in need, contact 252-261-2756 or visit www.BeachFoodPantry.org.

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