It’s been a hard couple of weeks. The priority right now is public health and safety, which means we’ve been practicing social distancing and watched as events were canceled and our favorite attractions and businesses have temporarily closed. As we’re focusing on ways to continue to support our local restaurants, retail and more we’ve noticed many ways that they are supporting us.
We’ve pulled together a collection of uplifting stories happening throughout our community during this difficult time to bring light to some of the positive things in the midst of the challenges. If you see other positive stories taking place, please send them our way. Submit here for consideration for future posts.
Updates from March 27
Ice Cream for Nurses
Keg & Case West 7th Market’s Sweet Science Ice Cream is now offering “Morale Boost Pints,” where people can virtually buy ice cream and write a note of encouragement for a nurse or doctor. Every Thursday, Sweet Science will deliver the pints to different hospitals and clinicsi to help boost morale to those on the front lines of the virus. More.
On Sunday, March 22, Grand Avenue’s Treadle Yard Goods offered 50 free kits to make CDC-approved face masks. They ran out within moments but many people that were still in line purchased their own materials to make masks. Find instructions for making masks and drop-off points for completed masks on sewgoodgoods.org. More.
MHC Donates Meals to Families
Morrissey Hospitality Companies are providing Gillette Children’s Speciality Healthcare and the families that were being served in the Ronald McDonald family room meals while the family room is closed due to coronavirus. MHC is providing families box lunches and dinners produced at The Saint Paul Hotel until the family room opens up again.
Brake for Partners
Brake Bread recently received an influx of new delivery subscribers after waiving delivery fees through the end of April and took its extra cash and bought gift cards from its partners to “share the wealth.” Now, gift cards are available to subscribers and can be added to their orders with 100% of sales going directly to partners. For more info on subscriptions, go to brakebread.com.
Handsome Apparel for Hope
West 7th retailer Scout Handsome Apparel & Gifts recently announced it would donate 10% of all orders to help Hope Breakfast Bar’s community kitchen efforts to feed families in need. Scout is currently offering free shipping on all orders while the brick and mortar store is closed. More.
Pets Find Homes
Before the Twin Cities Animal Humane Society recently closed temporarily, they made a push to find homes for hundreds of pets. By closure time there was only a handful of pets left after people listened, stepped up and adopted animals in need. More.
Nookies for those in Need
After a generous regular customer recently purchased a $200 gift certificate at Shamrocks Irish Nook to be donated to people in need, the restaurant stepped up to match it. Shortly after, a couple more donations came in and Shamrocks had $600 for meals and continues to take donations to feed families in need. More.
Stay-at-Home Kits for Rice-Larpenteur
The Rice-Larpenteur Alliance has led the organization of stay-at-home-kits for low-income residents of large, multi-family apartment buildings that surround Rice Street and Larpenteur Avenue. The kits are made possible by donations led by public officials in Saint Paul, Roseville and Maplewood as well as businesses including Costco, McDonald’s, Kids in Need Foundation, Nepali Kitchen, Hearthside Pizza, Thai Street Market and more. More.
Afro Deli Distributes Free Meals
Despite having to close its skyway locations and reducing hours at its other locations, Afro Deli recently distributed free meals to elderly and disabled residents in need, including a Minneapolis apartment complex where most tenants are East African immigrants. Afro Deli has also been offering free meals to K-12 students, especially those who depend on free lunches during the school year. More.
Saint Dinette recently received a shout-out in a Forbes article on how restaurants are innovating during the pandemic. The restaurant has transformed into “Dinette-N-Out” serving a simplified menu for curbside pickup. More.
Sportsman’s Guide donates 40,000 masks
Sportsman’s Guide, located in South St. Paul, donated 40,000 N95 masks to the Minnesota Nurses Association, which will be distributed across the state to frontline healthcare workers. More.
Updates from March 20
Hope gives hope
Hope Breakfast Bar is organizing breakfasts and meals for families in need. Hope’s website has information on how to provide info about a family in need, donate to the cause and volunteer to help fill hundreds of orders. Additionally, Hope has set up tables of produce outside of its restaurant free to take for families in need. More.
Saint Paul restaurants help students
Day By Day Cafe, Billy’s on Grand, Keys Cafe, Station 280 and other restaurants are offering free meals for kids during school closures. More.
Free meals for first-responders
The Saint Paul Hotel is offering complimentary meals to first-responders through March 31. A daily menu will be posted on the hotel’s social media with instructions on how to order and pick-up. More.
Wild and Saints support and donate
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Wild announced plans to pay part-time employees who were scheduled to work the final six regular-season home games that have been suspended. Additionally, the Wild donated more than 2,400 pounds of perishable food items from the arena and Herbies On The Park to Catholic Charities Dorothy Day Place and Ronald McDonald House Charities. More.
The St. Paul Saints announced they would be donating their radio ad buy promoting ticket sales to nonprofits currently in need. KS95 and Hubbard Broadcasting matched the donation. More.
Sutherland and chefs band together for free market
Saint Paul chef Justin Sutherland collected all perishable food items from Allianz Field, where he is the culinary consultant, as well as his seven restaurants that are mostly dark, and created a makeshift market at Public kitchen + bar. The market, which opened Thursday, invited families in need to fill up bags of mostly bread and produce. Other restaurants have sent boxes of food to the market and chef David Fhima, culinary director for Target Center, was on hand helping out. J.D. Fratzke and Brandon Sutherland were also on site working out of Sutherland’s food truck, Fare Well Foods, serving free meals to whoever was looking for one. The market will continue through the weekend. More.
Buttered Tin prepares meals
The Buttered Tin announced it is preparing packaged meals for recently laid-off staff to take home as well as preparing items for delivery to Women’s Advocates and Guild Inc. More.
Waldmann helps out a neighbor
Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery stepped up when its neighbor across the alley, Bad Weather Brewing Brewing Company’s, had its crowler seamer during a time when selling crowlers was all the brewery could do. Waldmann provided Bad Weather with theirs during the interim so they could continue selling crowlers. More.
Pajarito helps laid-off staff
Pajarito has completely shut down but allowed laid-off cooks and servers to shop their kitchen to feed their families. More.
Saint Paul Athletic Club shares workouts
Although the Saint Paul Athletic Club has closed, it has been sharing workouts by fitness professional Matt Hanson on Instagram for people to do from home. More.
Resources for parents
The Minnesota Children’s Museum has launched a microsite full of resources for parents during the school closures. More.
Block supports small restaurants
Block Studios has launched an offer that includes a credit toward family portraits with takeout at local, small restaurants when receipts are emailed in. More.
Museum from Home
The Science Museum of Minnesota is allowing people to #MuseumFromHome and showing the We Are Water exhibit online through its Facebook page. More.