Uplifting Updates from Saint Paul

Uplifting Updates from Saint Paul

Here is this week's roundup of uplifting stories and news from around Saint Paul

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 May 3

United Masks

Minnesota United fans recently donated masks made from team jerseys, which were then donated to the city’s Emergency Operations Center.


Luminaries of Support

Saint Paul residents have been lighting decorated luminaries and putting them on their front steps in support of health care and essential workers. More.


Breakfast for Teens

Payne Phalen Community Council recently provided breakfast for teens sheltering downtown. 


What’s your #MondayMotivation? Many amazing people pitching in to create 3 meals a day for our youth that are sheltering in a temporary hotel/shelter. Sharing a post from Rebecca Nelson: Payne Phalen Community Council provided breakfast for Teens sheltering downtown. Breakfast burritos! Thank you Stuart Knappmiller for the wonderful fruit!! Athena Hollins for the Home Fries! Ikram Ali for all the OJ with extras for tomorrow! Patricia Enstad for yogurt & more healthy drinks! Amazing! #THANKYOU We are so #Grateful If you would like to volunteer with us email You can donate online #Mysaintpaul #Makingadifference * * * * #motivationmonday #community #hope #saintpaul #stpaulmn #minnesota #twincities #youmatter #hungerisreal #hunger #food #mnfoodie #eatdrinkdishmpls #foodieapolis #youthmatter #homeless #unsheltered #nutrition

A post shared by Face to Face (@facetofacemn) on


Bring the Sing Home

Minnesota Public Radio is hosting weekly singalongs on Fridays inviting everyone from across the state and beyond to join in “Bring the Sing Home.” The next singalongs will be on May 8 and May 15 at 5:55 p.m. with “Here Comes the Sun” and “Lean on Me,” respectively. More. 


Paying it Forward

Black Dog Cafe has recently launched a pay-it-forward program where people can contribute to the program and pay for meals that then become available for those in need. More.


Reunited with Family

After three years of work by the International Institute of Minnesota, a young boy was reunited with his family.



Updates from April 25


Afro Deli, US Bank Donate Lunches

Afro Deli partnered with US Bank to serve lunches to 200 University of Minnesota Health Fairview works on Tuesday. Afro Deli also continues to offer free, all-day kids meals to help support families in need.


Xcel Energy Show Support

A number of Xcel Energy trucks recently parked outside Regions Hospital and showed support for healthcare workers with flashing lights and banners. Xcel employees cheered as medical workers ended their night shift and as others came to start their day. More.


Popcorn to Fight COVID-19

Saint Paul’s Mann Theatres, as well as the rest of the Mann locations, have started doing movie theater popcorn for curbside pickup on Saturdays. Ten percent of all sales goes to the greater Twin Cities COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund. More.


Fire Dept. Collects Masks

As part of a state-wide push by Governor Tim Walz, the Saint Paul Fire Department recently encouraged people to make homemade masks. Collection day for masks is today, April 25. More.


Cafe Latte, Northwestern Mutual Feed Healthcare Workers

Cafe Latte recently partnered with Northwestern Mutual to donate lunch to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital’s pediatric ER, ICU and COVID-19 units.


Wandering Kitchen Cooks up BBQ

Catering company Wandering Kitchen, which usually provides to-go organic meals at Keg & Case Market, recently posted about cooking up BBQ for donations.


Getting some BBQ ready for donations for some great places doing amazing work. #helpsomeone

A post shared by Wandering Kitchen (@wandering_kitchen) on



Updates from April 18


Feeding the Front Line

Morrissey Hospitality’s complimentary meal program for first responders and front-line health care workers recently expanded, moving from The Saint Paul Hotel to the Saint Paul RiverCentre and will run through Monday, May 4. Meals are offered seven days a week with pickup between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.


Sheriff and Restaurants Feed Homeless
The Ramsey County Sheriff's Department and numerous local restaurants are partnering to help serve meals to homeless encampments across the Twin Cities. Donations can be made through the Serving Our Troops website, although this is not a Serving Our Troops project, as all donations will be made directly to the Saint Paul Serves Foundation for food for the homeless. Leftover funds will be donated to Catholic Charities. More.


United by Blood

Minnesota United and Allina Health are coming together to support the urgent need for blood and will host a blood drive, in partnership with the American Red Cross, at Allianz Field, April 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. MNFUC and Allina Health will also be collecting hand-sewn masks and personal protective equipment. More.


Augustine’s Makes Masks

Augustine’s Bar and Bakery recently announced it has transformed its dining room into a sewing room to make cotton masks for the general public for free. Masks can be requested by direct message. Augustine’s is also offering free lunches for kids from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily in addition to offering its full menu for non-contact curbside pickup and delivery via BiteSquad. 


Eggroll Queen Feeds Families

Eggroll Queen Cafe has stepped up to feed families in need and provide meals for students that typically rely on school lunches. More.


Art for the Front Line

The Hennepin Theatre Trust recently commissioned 10 images with messages of gratitude and love by 11 Minnesota artists that are now being displayed on 60 electronic billboards across the Twin Cities. Billboard space was donated by Clear Channel. More.


Sanitizer for Hospice

Saint Paul’s Urban Growler and Studio Distilling recently partnered to make 28 gallons of hand sanitizer by distilling down 850 gallons of De-Lovely Porter. The sanitizer was donated to the nearby Our Lady of Peace hospice.


Updates from April 11


Bridge Fund Passes

Mayor Melvin Carter and the Saint Paul City Council put forth the Saint Paul Bridge Fund emergency relief program with one-time working capital grants for qualified small businesses and one-time payments to families impacted by COVID-19. More.


Wild Blood Drive
The Minnesota Wild and Xcel Energy Center, in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, recently announced a blood drive for the American Red Cross scheduled for April 15. It took one day for registration to fill. More.

The Wild and Xcel Energy Center also recently dropped off supplies to HealthPartners including medical gloves, boxes of alcohol prep pads and hand sanitizer containers for frontline medical staff. 


RiverCentre Goes Blue

The Saint Paul RiverCentre recently lit up in blue in an expression of support and gratitude for all frontline and essential workers working around the clock to ensure health and safety for all.


Chef Yia Vang Shares Story

Local chef Yia Vang recently shared an uplifting story on a new weekly YouTube series called “In This Together” by Define American about a canceled Bar Mitzvah party that led to an act of kindness. Vang’s pop-up and catering service Union Hmong Kitchen is offering family meals for takeouts from its current residency location at Sociable Cider Werks in Minneapolis. 


Buy One, Give One

Pearson’s Candy Company recently started offering a buy-one-give-one deal on cartons of 24 Salted Nut Rolls, with one box given to the Minnesota Red Cross between now and April 20. More.


Urban Ventures Brings Hope

Nonprofit Urban Ventures, located in Minneapolis, has partnered with Hope Breakfast Bar to serve free meals to families in need via its food truck with food donated by other closed restaurants. More.


Hearts on Selby
Local residents recently decorated the outside of businesses on Selby Avenue with hearts to brighten people’s days. More.


Free Lunch for West Side Frontline
El Burrito Mercado recently delivered free burritos to La Clinica - West Side Community Health Services.


Pizza for Children’s 

Children’s Minnesota recently shared a post on Instagram thanking Papa John’s for its continued support and onations of pizzas to Saint Paul and Minneapolis staff. 


Updates from April 4

Sandos from Lizzo

Iron Ranger owner Tom Forti received an order of sandwiches the other day that ended up being delivered to the University of Minnesota’s Fairview ER staff. Who made the order? Turns out it was the one and only Lizzo. 

“It just kinda fell into my lap,” Forti said. “I received an email with instructions … I think it was just my lucky day.” More.


Contagious Kindness

Frogtown Community Radio is spreading love across the airwaves, allowing members of the community to leave uplifting voicemail messages. Encouraging callers to “give a shout out to your neighbors, tell us a joke, read a poem, tell someone you love them,” the station says to call 651-300-0592 and it will be read on 94.1 WFNU-FM and available on its podcast. More.


SPPS Thanks Chefs

Saint Paul Public School recently thanked local chefs on Twitter for coming together and serving hot lunches to its students and families in need. The post included a video with comments and highlights from local chefs Justin Sutherland, J.D. Fratzke and multiple team members from Shish. 


Lula Tribute
Selby Avenue’s Lula Vintage Wear recently paid tribute to the nurses of “before, now and forever” by decorating its window display with mannequins dressed in vintage nurse attire. 


InterContinental and Skinner’s Step Up

Catholic Charities recently moved about 60 senior citizens out of its shelters due to them being the highest risk for COVID-19. They were moved to the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront and Skinner’s Pub & Eatery provided breakfast, lunch and dinner Sunday-Wednesday. More.

Nina’s Donates Coffee

Nina’s recently donated 100 pounds of coffee to the local recovery community organization St. Paul Sober Living. More.

Penguins Waddle

Zookeepers and animal caretakers around the country are doing unique things to keep animals stimulated and happy right now. At Como Zoo, that meant allowing penguins to take a waddle through empty public areas. They’re also doing yoga in front of gorillas and other unique enrichment for animals. More.

Cold Front Supports Recovery

Macalester-Groveland neighborhood ice cream shop Cold Front raised money to support people recovering from addiction last Sunday. There were 400 pints left after the shop had initially closed and all 400 were sold. Owner George Doyle has been sober for 15 years and donated 100% of the proceeds to the Minnesota Recover Connection. Cold Front is now doing curbside pickup. More.


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.


Sewing Saviors

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 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


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. 

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