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No Kid Hungry Virginia offers families access to free meals for kids this summer via text message

The summer months are already one of the hungriest times of year for many children. The need will be even greater this summer with more than 10% of Virginians facing unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RVAHub Staff

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Free meal programs for children will continue to be available across Virginia during the summer. No Kid Hungry Virginia encourages families to text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find free summer food sites organized by school districts and community organizations.

Meal sites are offering a variety of distribution models to help safely connect students with meals and promote social distancing, including “Grab and Go” service and food delivery along bus routes while passing out multiple days’ worth of meals at one-time.

The summer months are already one of the hungriest times of year for many children. The need will be even greater this summer with more than 10% of Virginians facing unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent estimates show that as many as 1 in 4 children could experience food insecurity in the aftermath of this crisis.

“A big challenge is making sure families know how to find resources,” said Sarah Steely, No Kid Hungry Virginia Associate Director. “Please share the texting number with family and friends and on social networks, and check with your local school division for the most detailed information. We need to make everyone is aware of free meal resources in their communities.”

The Summer Meals program is funded by the USDA and operated by school districts and local organizations. Schools have been utilizing the Summer Meals program to operate emergency meal sites throughout the pandemic. Families can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 and type in a zip code to find nearby summer meal sites, along with operating days and times. No application or registration is required at sites.

Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child’s health, ability to learn, and general well-being. No Kid Hungry Virginia is focused on providing funding and strategic assistance to schools and local organizations implementing summer meal programs to help them reach more kids during the pandemic.

Visit va.nokidhungry.org for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work.

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Gourmet popcorn shop Lammar Marie’s reopens renovated tasting room in Short Pump

The business, which closed its retail store during COVID-19, is back open for in-person shopping and has renovated their storefront.

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Short Pump gourmet snack shop Lammar Marie’s closed its doors as covid-19 settled into the US this March. Business never stopped, however. The gourmet popcorn shop continued to brighten days and elevate snack time as families quarantined.

“It was exceptional to be a part of something larger and bring people together,” says owner Rialand Lammar. “We all appreciate the little things so much more now.”

Through the summer, the popcorn shop’s action-packed flavors arrived on doorsteps across the country, including the blogging family behind Young House Love. Back in the shop, the brand underwent renovations and curated its growing collection of wines.

“We’re so excited about our partnership with Prince Michel, the winery behind our label,” Lammar says. “Each variety has tasting notes to pair with our popcorn flavors.”

The tasting room features new COVID precautions, including floor decals, sneeze guards, and seating arrangements. Fresh merch is speckled throughout, including blankets, hoodies, punny popcorn greeting cards, bowls, and more.

The tasting room reopened on Thursday, October 22. New popcorn flavors of the month are on the way, including Chicken & Waffles and S’mores. The VIP Popcorn Club continues to grow, and they are preparing for holiday orders–they can customize any flavor or bag for businesses and events.

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Richmond BizSense.com reporting that Billy Pie is Coming to Basic City Beer Co.

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Basic City Beer Co. in Manchester has some delicious news to announce, pizza. You might be familiar with Billy Pie if you ever grabbed a pizza at Triple Crossing or hit up their spot on Patterson. Owner of Billy Pie, Bill Fallen hopes to have pizza ready to go in a few weeks.

From Richmond BizSense.com:

Fallen eventually linked up with Basic City owner Bart Lanman over the summer. Lanman was already familiar with Fallen’s work and, before long, the two struck a deal for Fallen to open a location in Basic City’s Waynesboro location.

“In our growth plans, the idea has always been to make things as good as we can, or better. This was a step in the ‘or better’ direction,” Lanman said. “To have gone to Triple Crossing a bunch of times and had the pizza that’s high quality and well-executed, I knew it’s a perfect fit for us.”

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Foodē is a new food delivery service hoping to shake up the game in Richmond

While other services charge 30 percent on delivery orders, Foodē only charges 10 percent. As a bonus, ordering take out has zero additional fees.

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A Richmond entrepreneur is aiming to create a new food delivery service without the hefty fees at a time when every penny counts and many restaurants are struggling. Foodē, a new app launching next month, is a user-friendly service that delivers great food without crazy fees.

The pandemic has been especially challenging for restaurant owners. While delivery services may be necessary to keep doors open, the fees associated may be causing restaurants to lose money. Foodē aims to solve that problem by offering food delivery services that won’t destroy profits for small mom and pop restaurants. While other services charge 30 percent on delivery orders, Foodē only charges 10 percent. As a bonus, ordering take out has zero additional fees.

Restaurants can test the service for 60 days free of charge. The hardware necessary to use the app is free and Foodē is offering to enter the full menu for the first restaurants that sign up. From there, restaurants can manage inventory, add discounts, and make changes to the menu and hours.

Much like other delivery services in the market, consumers can download an app or use a web browser to view restaurants and place an order. However, the difference lies in the savings. Whether one chooses takeout or delivery, they will pay exactly what the merchant charges, never more. Contactless dine-in and curbside pickup is included as features for no additional fee.

With family in the restaurant industry as both owners and employees, Foodē founders Phu and Anna Nguyen know from experience how challenging fees can be for restaurants first hand. They wanted to create a service that would help, not hinder, a restaurant’s growth.

With no investors to answer to, they don’t have to worry about the pressure to increase profits.

“The goal is to create a platform that is more socially responsible. It’s not about making money as the end goal,” said Phu.

The service is expected to launch next month. Restaurants and grocery stores interested in registering should contact [email protected].

For more information on how to join as a business or consumer, visit go-foode.com.

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