Rick and Elisa Lewis of Grace Meat + Three photo by Meera Nagarajan

7 ways St. Louis businesses are giving back during the coronavirus pandemic

Many St. Louis businesses have committed to serving their community during the COVID-19 outbreak. From donating extra food to creating fundraising events, locals have been going above and beyond to help their neighbors during an unprecedented and difficult time. Here is a round-up of some of the great ways people in St. Louis are giving back.

At Grace Meat + Three, customers have been able to purchase an extra meal, or Giving Grace meal, that can be donated to someone who has recently lost their job. As of Friday, 125 meals have been purchased, along with five family-sized meals. Along with the Giving Grace meals, 15% of the proceeds of each meal purchased is donated to out-of-work servers, bartenders and cooks, and over $1,300 has been donated so far. To purchase a Giving Grace meal, visit ordergrace.com.

WellBeing Brewing, a non-alcoholic craft brewery, is donating cases of their Victory Citrus Wheat with electrolytes to hospitals in St. Louis. WellBeing brand alchemist Tom Halaska said that as a small business, this was a great way to give back to the community. “This drink was designed to be a sports drink,” he said. “We were wondering how to get it in the hands of Blues and Cardinals players. Last week, that whole direction changed. What can we do to help the real heroes of this country?” WellBeing is currently working with a few St. Louis hospitals to provide electrolyte beer for hospital employees to refuel after work.

As first reported by St. Louis Magazine, local chef Rex Hale has worked with Alton attorney John Simmons and Rae Miller from Known & Grown STL to coordinate a regional network of food and other items donated by local farmers, chefs and suppliers. They have set up two locations (408 N. Sarah St., St. Louis; 909 E. Broadway, Alton) where donations are accepted and where nonprofit organizations can pick up items to distribute. Over 60,000 pounds of food and supplies have been donated so far, and at least 30 charitable organizations have picked up donations. 

restaurant rally benefiting the gateway resilience fund will be hosted at the boathouse in forest park, sunday, march 29

On Sunday, March 29, Chicken Out, the new chicken sandwich spot developed by the Sugarfire team, is collaborating with Strange Donuts, Mission Taco Joint, Dubuque Coffee and Hi-Pointe Drive-In for the Drive-Thru Restaurant Rally benefiting the Gateway Resilience Fund. Hosted at the Boathouse in Forest Park, grab a chicken sandwich, breakfast burrito, doughnut and coffee without leaving your car. The food is free, but donations are encouraged, and proceeds benefit the Gateway Resilience Fund. 

The Fountain on Locust has closed its doors amid the coronavirus outbreak. All that extra food has not gone to waste, though, as the Fountain's Ron and Joy Christensen have donated leftover grilled chicken, pulled pork, sandwiches and salad fixings to the Haven of Grace, a local shelter for homeless women who are new mothers or pregnant. Karen Klaus, director of development at the Haven of Grace, said she hopes they can return the favor when restaurants start to reopen. “We’re very grateful," she said. "We hope that when things turn around, people can join us in going back to The Fountain on Locust and supporting them. We’d love to see it go full circle.”

Schlafly Beer has produced “Side Work,” a hazy IPA, which will benefit the St. Louis hospitality workers. Proceeds from Side Work benefit th Gateway Resilience Fund. As a tradition at Schlafly, long-standing employees brew a special batch of beer for their upcoming wedding. Lead brewer Jared Williamson and his fiancé recently decided to postpone their wedding due to the pandemic, but already had the beer ready for the celebration. Williamson decided to make something good out of a terrible situation, and thus, Side Work was born.  Side Work will be available at Schlafly Bottleworks or the Schlafly Tap Room in early April.

Another St. Louis-based company, Luxco, which produces brands like Pearl Vodka and El Mayor Tequila, announced in a press release that the company will donate $100,000 to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund, which "focuses on supporting nonprofit organizations working directly to respond to the communities most vulnerable to the health and economic impacts of the pandemic."

Erin Killion is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.

Tags : News, Coronavirus