Urban Ventures partners with restaurants and others to help south Minneapolis families during COVID-19 pandemic

Urban Ventures partners with restaurants and others to help south Minneapolis families during COVID-19 pandemic Photo: KSTP-TV.

Brandi Powell
Updated: April 09, 2020 06:24 PM
Created: April 09, 2020 05:06 PM

Local restaurants and nonprofits are teaming up to help families in south Minneapolis as they try to feed and educate their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"For us, it gives us purpose," Brian Ingram, owner of Hope Breakfast Bar, said.

Hope Breakfast Bar is giving hope to a community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If you show up, you have a family of eight, we would give you two bags. If you're a family of 12 you get three bags, and we go until we run out of food," Ingram explained.

Ingram added, "We can't serve the community needs and be a functioning restaurant, so we shut down."

But then, they opened up their St. Paul-based food truck to families that are a part of south Minneapolis' Urban Ventures.

"We have the same people in the kitchens, they all basically signed contracts saying you're going to social distance, that you're not going to be going out putting yourself in jeopardy," Ingram said.

Twin Cities restaurants that have had to close their doors temporarily because of COVID-19 have given leftover food to the cause.

"Lots of restaurants are saying, 'Hey, can we bring this over to you?'" Ingram said. "Free meals, yeah, 100%. We are living on donations."

Hope Breakfast Bar is offering up to 500 hot meals to families each day that stop by Urban Ventures.

"We are trying to do what we can and support them during times that are just unknown, and that there are people here who want to serve and want to help out and want to keep people from going hungry, and from going back in the achievement gap," said Urban Ventures Event and Volunteer Manager Sarah Spiegle.

Full KSTP COVID-19 coverage

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked Alma Sandiero, who lost her job, what this means for her family. She said the free food, books and flowers are a big help.

"So this is really nice to have, and now with the kids at home, it's nice for Alma to give them food ... Now, the times that we are living in, the pandemic, it's something really nice for Sandiero to have," Myrna Garcia, Urban Ventures Family Support Specialist, said.

These partnerships are helping families find their new normal.

"This has been a really challenging season for us, so trying to keep her challenged has been really, really difficult for us," said Benny Roberts, Vice President of Youth and Career Services with Urban Ventures, referring to his 5-year-old daughter.

The coronavirus is causing families to navigate new daily routines.

"We are excited about this. I work here, but I still get the benefit from stuff like this, especially being a parent with a kid at home," said Roberts.

Urban Ventures is also partnering with The Free Book Buggie, offering families free books to help with learning during the statewide 'stay at home' order.

Spiegle said, "It means a lot to our families because these are essential needs for them."

There's an important need to continue educating and feeding their children.

"Meals are something that normally the kids in our families are getting at school, and they're not having that right now because they're not at school," Spiegle added.

You can learn more about Urban Ventures at the link here.


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