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Coronavirus fund distributes more than $1 million in grants to Central Virginia organizations

Funds are being released from a collective, $4.2 million pool intended to help groups provide resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Capital News Service

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By Rodney Robinson

Funds are being released from a collective, $4.2 million pool intended to help groups provide resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twenty-five regional organizations are receiving more than $1.1 million in grants. The grantees fall under four categories: safety net clinics, food access organizations, housing and education.

The pool of money was created through a partnership between the Community Foundation and the Emergency Management Alliance of Central Virginia, a group of professionals that aims to help local residents dealing with disasters, according to the organizations’ sites. The fund, dubbed the Central Virginia COVID-19 Response Fund, was activated in March with an initial gift from the Community Foundation, a Richmond-based organization that manages more than 1,000 charitable funds.

The fund has raised more than $4.2 million to date from foundations, businesses and individuals across the region, the partners said. An advisory committee will review and distribute grants from the fund on a rolling basis.

The fund is currently focused on providing support for those most likely to contract the virus or those whose health could be further compromised because of barriers to food access, healthcare or stable shelter.

“We are currently targeting those on the frontline that need to pivot and adapt quickly to an ever-increasing demand for their services,” Scott Blackwell, chief community engagement officer at the Community Foundation, said in a news release.

The groups came together in September 2018 to create a disaster relief fund, according to Sherrie Armstrong, president and CEO for the Community Foundation. With the fund already in place, the two groups activated the COVID-19 response in March and began raising money.

Organizations receiving grants in the food access category include FeedMore, Neighborhood Resource Center and Sacred Heart Center. The FeedMore funding will support staffing at the organization’s community kitchen, while Sacred Heart Center’s money will provide food, baby formula, hygiene supplies and other necessities.

Health related organizations receiving aid include Daily Planet Health Services, Jewish Family Services, Richmond Academy of Medicine and YWCA of Richmond. The grants will help with a range of causes, ranging from the production of protective face masks for essential workers to support for a COVID-19 testing site for homeless individuals.

 Richmond Public Schools’ grant will go toward the purchase of 10,000 Chromebooks for students who need them to access education while schools are closed. Armstrong predicted that the RPS funding will ensure “that everyone has access to the internet and technology with everything that’s going on.”

The United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg is providing $100,000 in matching dollars to incentivize new donations made through United Way’s website. The organization was involved in the early conversations of where a fund “might live,” according to James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg. As needs continued to grow in Central Virginia, United Way wanted to be “good partners” to help in relief efforts.

“As the response began from a fundraising standpoint, it became clear that the needs were going to continue to grow,” Tayor said.

 There are 6,171 COVID-19 cases in Virginia as of April 14. There have been 154 deaths and 978 hospitalizations, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

The relief is designed to be flexible and to complement other resources and responses at the national, state and local levels, organizers said.

The fund is not taking formal applications, but nonprofits and public agencies can share their needs through this form, according to the Community Foundation’s site. Individuals seeking help are encouraged to call 211 or visit 211Virginia.org for a curated list of local social services.

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The Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos, and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

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Fat Kid Sandwiches launches as new overstuffed sub concept from “ghost kitchen” operation

Fat Kid Sandwiches boasts exactly what you think it does. Overstuffed, indulgent subs, grilled cheeses, and sky-high clubs flank the menu. You won’t go hungry as most sandwiches are two hearty servings.

RVAHub Staff

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Richmond’s first ghost kitchen has launched a new concept that you’ll want to have “get in your belly!” Fat Kid Sandwiches launched in late July; the newest concept from Jon Martin and Liz Clifford of Dunharrow Concepts, Richmond’s first ghost kitchen.

Fat Kid Sandwiches boasts exactly what you think it does. Overstuffed, indulgent subs, grilled cheeses, and sky-high clubs flank the menu. You won’t go hungry as most sandwiches are two hearty servings.

After launching Garden Party last month, Fat Kid Sandwiches is Dunharrow’s second delivery-only restaurant – which is what a “ghost kitchen” essentially is. With the success of the vegan and vegetarian concept, they hope Richmond receives their sandwich concept with the same excitement.

“We’ve had a really great response so far,” said Clifford.

The pair have already hosted a preview event and a pop-up at The Veil Brewing Co. as part of the concept’s launch.

The Bangin’ Grilled Cheese boasts American, Provolone, and Cheddar on a homemade sandwich loaf. His grandmother’s recipe, Martin makes this bread himself, and it truly makes the sandwich. Add tomato, avocado, or bacon if you’d like and you’ve got yourself a grilled cheese your childhood-self would be pleased with.

If you like to be in control, you can also “choose your own adventure” and build a sub exactly to your liking. Have no fear, vegans, and vegetarians – they’ve got you covered as well.

Fat Kid Sandwiches can be ordered online for delivery Wednesday through Saturday from 5 – 9 p.m. You can find them on UberEats, GrubHub, and most recently on Richmond-based food delivery service, ChopChop.

For more information on Dunharrow Concepts and Fat Kid Sandwiches, visit fatkidsandwiches.com.

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New orchid store set to bloom in West End this September

“Our West End clients have been asking us to open a store near them for years and plants are experiencing a surge in popularity right now because so many people are working from home,” the company said in a news release.

RVAHub Staff

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A local orchid grower is putting down roots in the West End due to customer demand.

Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc has announced it is opening a new orchid store in the West End in the Gaskins Place Shopping Center. The new space should be ready by September 1st.

The company, based in Powhatan, says the new location fills the need for Chadwick’s many West End clients and helps to meet the increased demand for plants in general. Chadwick’s existing store in the Museum District was recently renovated and will remain.

“Our West End clients have been asking us to open a store near them for years and plants are experiencing a surge in popularity right now because so many people are working from home,” the company said in a news release.

Chadwick & Son has 11 greenhouses in Powhatan and specializes in a service called ‘orchid boarding’ in which clients pay to have their plants taken care of. There are currently over 13,000 plants in production.

“Orchids, in various forms, have been in vogue for over a century – first as corsages, then as collector’s items, now as everyday houseplants,” a company representative concluded.

Chadwick & Son Orchids was founded in 1989 by Art Chadwick and his son, Arthur.

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Home Team Grill’s Glen Allen outpost rebranded as Twin Hickory Tavern

After 14 years in business in Glen Allen, local restaurant Home Team Grill has traded the sports moniker for one that shares the name of its community.

RVAHub Staff

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After 14 years in business in Glen Allen, local restaurant Home Team Grill has traded the sports moniker for one that shares the name of its community. After some interior renovations and a revamp of the menu, owner Garland Taylor reopened the neighborhood restaurant as Twin Hickory Tavern.

The new restaurant has been totally renovated and features an expanded bar lineup with 20 beers on tap and a more upscale menu featuring appetizers like seared tuna, buffalo cauliflower, and chicken satay; sliders, a selection of tacos, and soups and salads; dinner entrees include burgers, premium sandwiches, and a shrimp bowl. See the full menu here.

Twin Hickory Tavern is located at 11351 Nuckols Road in the Twin Hickory Town Center and is open Monday – Friday from 11:30 AM until 2:30 PM and 5:00 – 10:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday 5:00 – 10:00 PM.

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