Widespread shutdowns to impede the spread of the coronavirus have slowed the restaurant industry to a grinding halt. Yet, for Denver’s Edible Beats restaurant family, its own economic hardship is no excuse for civic inaction. In an effort to support families affected by the school closures in Denver, Edible Beats is providing free hot dinners to the students — and their families — of five public elementary schools in Denver every night. The initiative launched on March 16 and will continue through at least April 3, excluding weekends.
Food-insecure families whose children attend one of the five public schools listed below can pull up to the curb outside of El Five restaurant (2930 Umatilla Street Suite 500, Denver), at 3 p.m. Once they turn on their flashers, food will be brought directly to the car. Each of Edible Beats’ five restaurants is paired with an elementary school, so the specific restaurant that provides their meals depends on which elementary school their family members attends. Each restaurant will give their dedicated school(s) 50 meals a day, with Root Down providing 50 total to three schools.
Root Down: Brown, Edison & Sandoval Elementary Schools
Linger: Trevista Elementary School
Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox: Whittier Elementary School
Vital Root: Columbian Elementary School
El Five: Bryant-Webster Elementary School
Schools were chosen by Denver Public Schools (DPS) based on need and on the percentage of students who took part in free, reduced lunch programming (or FRL.) Note that meal pickups do not occur at the individual schools or restaurants themselves — all services are centralized at El Five. Any meals that aren’t picked up are dropped at Urban Peak the next morning.
Edible Beats would love to hear about any other schools and organizations could use similar support. Contact them here. In a press release, the restaurant family stated, “This is one way Denver’s restaurant community can show up, help ease a burden, and offer compassion. We’re in this together.”
To learn more about food distribution efforts to ease the fallout of Denver Public Schools’ temporary closures — including other locations where students and their families can pick up free meals — go here. Information is available in multiple languages.