Mountain Home Cares provides more than 5,000 meals from 15 local restaurants during Covid-19 shutdown
CHRISTY KEIRN | COVID-19 | MAY 26, 2020
As each day brings more coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on communities, many are searching for ways to help others. Six weeks ago, two friends in rural Mountain Home, Arkansas, crafted a plan to support local restaurants and families who were being affected by the pandemic.
The two drew a simple flow chart with stick-figures and arrows showing a proposed flow of donations through the Salvation Army, into restaurants to purchase meals, and out to distribution points for food to families in need, essential workers, and others. Geoff Smith and Kirk Brown’s dream, Mountain Home Cares (MH Cares), has been implemented with the support of their families, local donors and others and had an incredible impact on their community.
"We have been humbled by the value placed on an idea that sprouted as a result of hardships caused by Covid-19 to both our dining establishments and residents. When we decided to plug in to help our community we never truly envisioned the magnitude of this project not only by the sheer amount of volunteer hours spent or the monetary donations, but also the number of impacted restaurants and the gracious recipients of this effort. There is no doubt this community is full of talented and giving people that care for their neighbors and we were honored to have worked beside the countless volunteers, restaurants, organizations, and donors that joined in the effort of bridging the gap for participating restaurants. Thank you for allowing us to serve with you," said Smith.
About the MH Cares project, Dr. Robin Myers, Chancellor of Arkansas State University-Mountain Home, site of the first two events said "This incredible outpouring of support from members of our community to support our local restaurants and simultaneously provide over 5,000 meals for area citizens was a tremendous success! Geoff and Kirk developed a plan to help those in need and created this incredible opportunity for companies or individuals in our community to provide these meals. Our restaurants needed the volume to help maintain their staff and facilities at this critical time. Many of our citizens also needed the assistance of receiving meals for their families during this crisis. The most incredible part of this whole enterprise is that no fundraising was necessary. Generous donors throughout our community simply saw the positive impact the effort was generating and reached out to help. Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved in supporting Mountain Home Cares!" Both Smith and Brown attended ASU-Mountain Home.
Three events wrap up and fulfill the mission of Mountain Home Cares. The heartwarming project has positively impacted more than 15 restaurants, fed 5,405 meals, and raised $26,607 in private donations. "We would like to dedicate the vision and effort of MH CARES to honor our loving memory of a woman that spent a lifetime in service to others. Her guidance, compassion, and dedication to serving others will live with us forever - In loving memory of Mrs. Bonnie Brown 1950-2020," added Smith.
The following is a list of activities held by Mountain Home Cares over the last six weeks:
- 4/3/2020 400 meals to the public from Holy Smokes, Sponsored by Matt Wood, Geoff and Tami Smith
- 4/10/2020 400 meals to the public from OMGreek, Arena Grill, At the Curb and Bookworms; Easter baskets for children Sponsored by The Meat Shop, Anstaff Bank and
- 4/10/2020 100 meals to hairdressers and barbers from Colton's Sponsored by Joan Gilbert
- 4/14/2020 500 meals to frontline workers from Letty’s Sponsored by Community Donations
- 4/17/2020 400 meals from Whispering Woods through churches Sponsored by Community Donations
- 4/22/2020 1,000 meals donated to Baxter Regional Medical Center employees from 178 Club, Arena Grill and Holy Smokes Sponsored by Anstaff Bank and Edward Jones financial planners Andy Farmer, Luke Glasscock, Ben Plumlee, and Geoff Smith
- 4/23/2020 262 pizzas from Papa Johns serving 786 people Sponsored by Shelter Insurance agents Scott Taber and Lewis Barnes
- 4/28/2020 250 meals from Letty’s provided to local shelters Sponsored by Community Donations
- 4/30/2020 100 Meals for volunteers at Covid-19 testing provided by At the Curb sponsored by Jack’s Package Store
- 5/1/2020 30 pizzas with popcorn and a movie serving 90 foster families from House of Pizza sponsored by Community Donations
- 5/6/2020 100 plates serving 400 meals from Italian Gardens provided to shut-ins Sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care and Senior Health Insurance
- 5/14/2020 100 meals from Whispering Woods provided to Dentist Offices Sponsored by Carter’s Jewel Chest
- 5/15/2020 650 meals for Veterans from Mel’s Diner, The Back Forty, Skipper’s and Holy Smokes, Sponsored by VFW Post 3246, Disabled American Vets Chapter 30, DAVA Unit 30, American Legion Post 52
- 5/15/2020 240 meals for skilled nursing home workers from House of Pizza Sponsored by Community Donations