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Over 8,800 Meals Distributed on the 2nd #KeepBooneHealthy Takeout Tuesday

A total of 29 local restaurants and food distribution sites served a reported 8,832 meals during the second #KeepBooneHealthy Takeout Tuesday, held on April 7th. An additional 12 sites provided data on meals served this week, leading to a rise of 1,506 meals toward the community total. Including the first Takeout Tuesday on March 31st, a total of 16,158 meals have been distributed by local restaurants and food distribution sites over the last two Tuesdays.

The effort was designed to encourage area residents to support local restaurants and food distribution programs during the COVID-19 crisis, while also complying with the directives listed in the State of North Carolina Stay-At-Home order.

Customers placed orders with local restaurants, utilized curbside, takeout, and delivery options, and enjoyed their meal in the confines of their home. They posted pictures of meals across various social media platforms and tagged posts with the name of the restaurant and the #KeepBooneHealthy hashtag.

This week’s community count was generated from the reporting of total meals served from 28 area restaurants and the Watauga County Schools meal distribution program.

Provided social distancing and Stay-at-Home guidelines are followed, the Takeout Tuesday promotion is scheduled to continue weekly through the month of April. AppHealthCare has endorsed the effort with the understanding that should a need for further tightening of the Stay-At-Home order become necessary, the promotion may need to be re-evaluated.

“The growth of the community meal total from week one to week two is very encouraging,” said David Jackson, President/CEO of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce. “The majority of restaurants that reported last week said they saw growth from one Tuesday to the next. Many that reported for the first-time stated Tuesday is among their best performing days of the week. The owners and staff of each of these locations took the time to point out how much it means to them that the community is finding a way to still support their business. We’ve seen a few more restaurant closures this week and there are many more that are just hanging on at this point. A simple effort like adjusting the way you support your favorite restaurant is helping keep food in the community and people employed.”

In addition to supporting area restaurants and utilizing the Watauga County Schools meal distribution program, customers can purchase meals for Hospitality House. Social distancing guidelines have altered the organization’s ability to prepare meals for individuals and families that are experiencing homelessness. 

With Watauga County Schools closed next week, the system will send additional meals home to families this Friday, and local organizers are working with the Faith community to provide meals at the same school distribution sites next week.

Growth in other sources for food distribution continues around the area. The High Country Food Hub experienced another rise in its total number of customers this week and Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture received a positive response from those involved in the Winter Farmer’s Market, held April 4th. Kindly Kitchen, Peddler Steakhouse, Ransom, and Coyote Kitchen are among area businesses that are using new methods to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, and other food products to the local community.

 “As we continue to see individuals and businesses struggle financially in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, it remains critically important to keep as many food sources in our community open and operating,” said Jackson. “Businesses are getting creative in their product offerings as they shift some of their long-term practices to meet immediate needs. Food distribution efforts for children through Watauga County Schools are routinely surpassing 4,500 meals served a day. The community efforts to work toward providing food for these children and their families during the upcoming Spring Break period is truly inspiring. Our community will continue to have these needs for weeks to come and not everyone has the access or resources to cook daily meals. The more food we can keep circulating through as many distribution channels as possible, the more people can be impacted.”

#KeepBooneHealthy is a community messaging campaign organized by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, with content creation and promotional assistance provided by Destination by Design and the Downtown Boone Development Association. Additional information can be found at www.facebook.com/keepboonehealthy.

For more information about a broad range of available assistance during the COVID-19 crisis, visit www.boonechamber.com/localresponse.

If you have questions, please contact the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce at 828-264-2225 or email david@boonechamber.com.