Two free meals will be available this week from local restaurants for people in Dodge County, courtesy of the Greater Fremont Development Council.
This Thursday and Friday, Taco Smack in Fremont and Smitty’s Brickhouse in North Bend will provide lunch in light of the coronavirus pandemic for GFDC’s “Grab N Go.”
“We want people in the area to have a chance to just stop by, grab food and keep going, just to make sure people could allow for themselves to schedule having this free meal,” GFDC Executive Director Garry Clark said. “And so the goal is, we wanted to make sure that we were also using this as an opportunity to give support to our local businesses.”
Taco Smack at 1743 E. Military Ave. in Fremont, will hand out 200 lunches this Thursday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The lunches will only be distributed through drive-thru.
Smitty’s Brickhouse at 644 N. Main St. in North Bend, will hand out 100 lunches this Friday from noon to 1 p.m. The lunches are carry-out only.
The meals, which will be served on a first-come, first-served basis, are limited to one per person. Customers must show a flyer found on the Facebook event pages for both Taco Smack and Smitty’s Brickhouse.
Many restaurants have had to either close or limit their dining areas, move to delivery or take-out or both due to COVID-19. Gov. Pete Ricketts ordered restaurants and bars in Washington, Douglas, Sarpy and Cass counties to close their dining areas.
“While COVID-19 is a hindrance to our business community, it’s also a hindrance to our populations that are within our community,” Clark said. “And that means that if folks who have all-access to services are struggling, that means it’s even more critical for people who are already limited to access.”
Clark said the meals were in immediate response to how COVID-19 would impact those who were possibly laid off or without access to food.
“We also thought about the fact that we knew some of the local area schools were focusing specifically on their students, and we saw an opportunity to try to create something that might just be more general in nature and wanted to do something kind of quick and rapid,” he said.
The meals that will be served this week are sponsored and paid for by the GFDC and helped made possible by its sponsors, Clark said.
“It’s important that our organizations, just like the nonprofits, the for-profits, everyone involved in the community finds some way to help support people,” he said. “And so this is just one of our ways of trying to make sure that we’re supporting not only our small businesses, but the people that live in those communities.”
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