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The Food Acts of Kindness Keep Coming


Where do I begin?

The food section of OnlyinArk.com has been quiet the past few weeks. Truth be told, it’s hard to write about restaurants that we can’t walk into for the foreseeable future. However, here in the Little Rock area, many local establishments–including restaurants, coffee shops, and bakeries—have quickly adapted to a new way of doing business. Curbside reigns supreme, delivery has skyrocketed, and to-go containers are the new norm.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is this industry’s passion for giving.

At their core, most folks in the food and drink business are givers. That trait is the very foundation of hospitality–to give your time, your skills, your passion–so it should come as no surprise that over the past few weeks, many people in the area’s food community have demonstrated countless acts of kindness.

Where do I begin?

Le Pops seems like a good place. They donated Popsicles to the very grateful UAMS mobile triage unit during the middle of a hot and muggy day.

How about Cathead’s Diner? The restaurant delivered 300 boxed lunches to staff at the CARTI Cancer Center. Damgoode Pies, Star of India, Keith & Co Artisan Sandwich Shoppe, McBride’s Café & Bakery, Ciao Baci, The Faded Rose, Rebel Kettle Brewing Co., and Loblolly Creamery, along with many others, have stepped up as well to feed hospital workers. Then there are the restaurants like Trio’s, Capers, and HB’s Bar-B-Q, who have been delivering food to staff at Briarwood Nursing Center, a place where many residents battle COVID-19.

And the food acts of kindness keep coming.

The Pizzeria’s weekly giveaway of a family meal to a teacher was unbelievably kind, but so too was Dave’s Place’s Friday night jam session concerts on Facebook Live, and Domestic Domestic offering to sell individual restaurant t-shirts on its site, with 100% of the money going back to each restaurant’s employees.

At the Corner’s “Rock & Cinnamon Roll It Forward” campaign, where they deliver freshly baked cinnamon rolls to hospital employees, has been a huge success, thanks in large part employees’ efforts combined with monetary contributions from loyal customers.

Lost Forty Brewing continues to feed people, and that includes donating packs of food for unemployed restaurant industry folks.

Rock Town Distillery recently donated its now popular hand sanitizer to organizations like Our House, Women & Children First, Gaines House, Jericho Way, The Van, and Hope Rises.

And it goes on and on, like free professional food photography by Dero, or Chef Gilbert Alaquinez of Kemuri sharing countless food stories on his timeline, or Raduno’s setting up full Easter egg hunts in people’s backyards.

Listen, these difficult times won’t end soon, but the wonderful acts of kindness going on in our Central Arkansas food community continue to bring joy to folks in need of real help, as well as workers in need of a smile and some semblance of normalcy. I’ve only scratched the surface in this article with some of the highlights.

But it’s a start.


Header photo courtesy of Joyti Lal


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Kevin Shalin is a food writer living in Little Rock with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Natalie (12) and Sydney (7). He started his own blog, The Mighty Rib, seven years ago while living in Houston. Six months later, he began writing for Eating Our Words, a Houston Press food blog. After a year in Boston, he moved to Little Rock, where he’s been for almost five years. During that time, he’s written for Little Rock Soiree, Rock City Eats, Treatsie, and Bourbon and Boots.

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