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More than 40 restaurants participate in 'End Hunger in Lakewood' event for local food bank

End Hunger in Lakewood
Posted at 10:42 PM, Nov 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-16 23:53:12-05

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Melt Bar and Grilled is serving up much more than gourmet grilled cheese. The popular Lakewood joint is one of the many spots participating in 'End Hunger in Lakewood.'

"It's one of my favorite spots so it makes me feel even better that this place is chipping into the community," Eric Silva said.

Other customers shared his sentiments.

"It's nice to know that we're getting food, but other people are getting help too," Melissa Thomas said.

10 percent of the restaurant's Saturday profits will be donated to families with food insecurity. More than 40 Lakewood restaurants and retailers are on board.

"People that tussle between paying their rent or feeding their family, that shouldn't exist in 2019," said Melt Bar and Grilled owner Matt Fish.

Fish teamed up with Trish Rooney, the executive director of the Lakewood Community Services Center, to make this day a reality.

"We're not going to use it for electric bills and we're not going to use it for salaries," Rooney said. "We're going to use it turn it right around and give it back to the community."

Rooney said last year they raised $11,000 and they spent it all on fresh fruits and vegetables for the folks who come through their food pantry.

"If you can look around, you see mostly shelf staples and fresh produce is really expensive," she said.

Rooney said they serve about 15 percent of Lakewood residents weekly and more than half of them are living below the poverty line.

"Lakewood is exploding and getting very, very expensive so can you imagine trying to provide food and housing and utilities and clothes and everything for your family on a $15,000 income? And that's somebody working full time," Rooney said.

Fish said this is why he had to get on board.

"I know there's a need countrywide, citywide, worldwide but not in my backyard—you don't think about that," Fish said.

If you weren't able to get out to Lakewood to have a meal Saturday, you can give directly to the Lakewood Community Services Center.