April 1, 2020 - Restaurants across the country have been forced to close their doors in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, either by choice or as a result of state or municipal orders to enforce social distancing. Because of that, many restaurants are in trouble. Diners can help in a number of ways – by ordering delivery or buying gift cards, for example. But one local nonprofit’s initiative is allowing individuals to make a direct financial contribution to the restaurants and bars that make our beautiful low country a better place to live – as well as the workers behind those establishments- during this difficult time. 

“We are hoping to serve an estimated 50 meals per week as long as there is funding available. Our community is hurting because of COVID-19, and I feel that it is our duty to try and make sure that these businesses know they have our support, and that our first responders and healthcare workers know that they are getting food that is safe for them to eat with minimal exposure,” said Britnee Kinard (SD Gunner Fund Founder). “Right now is the time to buy local and support local.” 

The SD Gunner Fund, a local nonprofit based out of Richmond Hill, has recently launched a program called Operation Restaurants and Responders (R & R). They are partnering with local restaurants to provide food for hospital staff, EMS, Firefighters and Police Officers while also providing funding to the restaurants. Each restaurant in the program has agreed to abide by the strictest COVID-19 sanitation protocol and all meals are individually wrapped with no needed utensils. 

“We are working closely with all hospital administration and first responders to ensure their safety and minimize risk of exposure. Everything from start to finish is monitored closely so that we can do our part of protecting those who are currently serving on the front line for our safety,” said Jessica Belfry (SD Gunner Fund Advisory Chair). The establishments we are partnering with are ensuring that only 2-3 persons have contact with the food from preparation to delivery, as requested by SD Gunner Fund. That request is above and beyond the FDA recommendation to all eatery establishments.” 

If you or someone you know would like to support our local restaurants and first responders, you can text “SDGunner” to the number 24365 and make your tax deductible contribution. If you are a restaurant and would like to partner with SD Gunner Fund, please reach out to Jess Belfry at (920) 609-7136. 

For information regarding the SD Gunner Fund, please visit www.sdgunner.org 


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