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Food/drink businesses step up to fill community need despite their own need for support 

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Since the state-mandated cessation of on-site food and drink service (for at least 30 days) to combat the coronavirus, many businesses have responded rapidly and in creative ways to both save their livelihoods and support their communities.

We’ll be sharing inspirational stories throughout the next month alongside other coverage of a very different food/drink marketplace. This week, we’re taking a snapshot of some of the early responses we’ve observed during the first few days of the partial shutdown. Bear in mind that these are some of the same businesses affected by the shutdown, giving while they’re in need themselves:

The Denver Post covered the story of Lyons-based Spirit Hound Distillers and Boulder-based J&L Distilling, both of whom used their equipment to make hand sanitizer that‘s now nearly impossible to find on market shelves (thank you hoarders and A-hole resellers). Other distilleries around the U.S. have done this too, with many donating it to first responders, health care agencies, etc. Locally, Lee Spirits and Axe and The Oak have indicated they’ll be making batches for donation soon, too.

• Again to address the shortage of supplies on area grocery store and other retailers’ shelves (still looking at you hoarders and A-hole resellers), area restaurants have stepped up to offer in-demand goods through their own distribution sources — and not at a big markup. Just one example locally that caught our eye: Beasts and Brews has listed everything from toilet paper to bread, milk and vegetables available alongside their newly created meal kits and takeout items from their menu.

• Black Forest-based YWAMemerge (ywamem-erge.org) — an aquaponics grower that works with nonprofits as part of YWAM International and also sells to area restaurants and universities — lost contracts last week and was sitting on surplus. Their idea: Give it away, “2,400 heads of lettuce every week as long as we have to.” Friday, March 20, was the first giveaway; they asked folks to take a bag of lettuce for themselves and/or a neighbor in need.

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