Local business efforts to help the community: restaurants open grocery markets; Service Dogs, Inc. donates 18,000 pounds of dog food

Local restaurant Emmer & Rye is offering groceries at its Rainey Street location. (Courtesy Emmer & Rye)
Local restaurant Emmer & Rye is offering groceries at its Rainey Street location. (Courtesy Emmer & Rye)

Local restaurant Emmer & Rye is offering groceries at its Rainey Street location. (Courtesy Emmer & Rye)

Every month in Community Impact Newspaper, we feature a section called Impacts highlighting businesses opening, coming soon, celebrating anniversaries, relocating or closing.

This month, we are doing something a little different on our website. City orders to encourage social distancing, slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect residents have dealt a blow to the local economy.

Some local businesses have started new efforts to keep their neighbors healthy and help those in need. We are highlighting some of those efforts, but there are surely more in the community. If you know of a local business that is working to help the community get through this dark time, please send us an email at ctanews@communityimpact.com.

1. Cotton Global Disaster Solutions will provide lunches to 1,200 health care workers in Austin. The first drop-off locations announced were St. David's Medical Center in South Austin, 901 W. Ben White Blvd., on April 7 and St. David's Medical Center, 919 E. 32nd St., Austin, on April 8. Cotton GDS is a company that helps with recovery and restoration efforts from catastrophes including natural disasters, wildfires and more. 877-900-0493. www.cottongds.com

2. Good Apple, a company that delivers locally grown fruits and vegetables to Travis County residents, has partnered with the Austin Transportation Department to provide free access to healthy food to people at risk throughout the county. The "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" program provides boxes of produce and pantry items with each delivery containing enough to last one person through one week. www.goodapplefoods.com


3. Lyft announced a program April 3 to provide critical workers with free scooter rides through the remainder of the month. The mobility company said it will work directly with employers to receive information on first responders, health care employees and transit workers. Interested employers can email heroscooters@lyft.com for more information. According to numbers from the city of Austin, scooter trips in the city totaled 1,995 from March 27-April 2, down from more than 88,000 the week of Feb. 28-March 5. www.lyft.com/LyftUp0

4. Malibu Poke, located at 211 Walter Seaholm Drive, Austin, is donating a meal to the Central Texas Food bank for every bowl purchased. The restaurant started the program on March 30, and is also offering curbside pickup during its normal hours from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and delivery through DoorDash. www.malilbupoke.com

5. Anyone purchasing a to-go order at Santa Rita Cantina, 1206 W. 38th St., Austin, can add a meal purchase for an employee at Seton Medical Center through May 1. Santa Rita makes at least one drop-off at the hospital daily with meals purchased by customers. The restaurant's to-go menu is available 3-8:30 p.m. daily for pickup or delivery through the restaurant or third-party apps. 512-419-7482. www.santaritacantina.com

6. East Austin butcher shop and restaurant Salt and Time, 1912 E. Seventh St., Austin, has expanded its market and added products from local businesses forced to close. The new products in the market include hot sauce and salt from Lenoir, pizza dough and sauce from Bufalina, ice cream from Lick Honest Ice Creams, and pasta from L'Oca D'Oro. In addition, the market is opening an hour early at 9 a.m. for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.512-524-1383. www.saltandtime.com

7. Service Dogs Inc. donated 18,000 pounds of Purina dog food to the Pet Food Bank of Austin and Travis County and Austin Humane Society on April 1 at the Austin American-Statesman, 305 S. Congress Ave., Austin. Sheri Soltes, president of Service Dogs Inc., said in a media release the food was intended for the Mighty Texas Dog Walk fundraiser, which was postponed to Oct. 31 due to coronavirus concerns. "They'll make sure it goes to feed pet dogs and shelter dogs in need," Soltes said in a statement. 512-858-1495. www.servicedogs.org A number of local Austin restaurants and cafes have started offering groceries to stay stocked up on essentials between trips to large grocery stores or deliveries:

8. Bennu Coffee's locations at 2001 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and 515 S. Congress Ave. are offering offering groceries such as produce, eggs, milk, and coffee and tea by the gallon as of March 30. www.bennucoffee.com

9. Cuvee Coffee, located at 2000 E. Sixth St., Austin, announced March 21 it is offering groceries—including bread from Easy Tiger—along with coffee, tea and beer to-go. 512-368-5636. www.cuveecoffee.com

10. Emmer & Rye opened E&R Grocery at its restaurant on April 1, located at 51 Rainey St., Ste. 110. The market's selection will include dried pastas, baked bread and items from the larder such as thai chili hot sauce and miso. 512-366-5530. www.emmerandrye.com

11. Sala & Betty, 5201 Airport Blvd., Austin, began offering baskets of local grocery items from local businesses and growers the week of March 23. Items include ground beef and bacon, fresh herbs and produce, milk and pasta. 512-645-0214. www.salaandbettyatx.com

Editor's Note: This post has been updated to clarify that Malibu Poke's program to donate meals is an ongoing initiative.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at jflagler@communityimpact.com


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