In a time where uncertainly and immense challenges face the hospitality industry and small businesses across the country, the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association, the Food Bank for Larimer County, and the Eye Center of Northern Colorado are thrilled to announce the donation total for Great Plates of Downtown Presented by The Eye Center of Northern Colorado 2020. In just 2 short weeks, the downtown restaurant community has raised $105,149 for the Food Bank for Larimer County!
Great Plates of Downtown Presented by The Eye Center of Northern Colorado is an annual regional dining promotion, Fort Collins’ version of ‘restaurant week’, and the Food Bank for Larimer County’s largest fundraiser of the year. The 2020 event featured 43 participating downtown eateries as they offered $25 and $2.50 specials from March 1st – 14th. Great Plates is produced by the Downtown Fort Collins Business Association, a 501(c)(6) non-profit dedicated to advancing the vibrancy and vitality of Downtown Fort Collins.
Over the last 15 years, Great Plates of Downtown has raised $752,786, allowing the Food Bank to provide more than $3.4 million worth of food! Funds raised from Great Plates 2020 have assisted the Food Bank in retooling their food distribution process to ensure the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and clients in response to COVID-19. The Food Bank is currently serving between 550 and 600 households each day at their pantries, serving thousands of meals each week to Thompson and Poudre School District students, and distributing record amounts of food to agency partners.
As the downtown restaurant community continues to reel from operational changes, it’s no secret that these small businesses are facing difficult decisions regarding staffing, alternative service model methods, and their futures at large. “Downtown restaurants and countless numbers of their employees have been hit hard by the impacts of COVID-19,” says James Yearling of the Downtown Business Association. “We were astonished by the restaurants’ continued commitments to Great Plates through this trying time and we hope the community will recognize that and come back to support them as we enter the “Safer-at-Home” business reopening phase.”
To support restaurants and thank them for their immense contributions to the Food Bank during Great Plates, the DBA is inviting the community to “Bring Old Town Home” by visiting our frequently-updated “Downtown Business Announcements Page” on DowntownFortCollins.com.
As restaurants move to carry-out, curbside offerings, delivery, offer online Gift Card purchases, and more, the DBA, Food Bank, and Eye Center of Northern Colorado invite the community to proliferate the giving mentality of these restaurants to make sure these small businesses remain strong during this crisis.
“Great Plates truly represents what makes this community so special,” said Food Bank for Larimer County CEO Amy Pezzani. “This year has been unimaginable for nearly all of us, but to see our restaurant partners continuing to work on behalf of the Food Bank – even when their livelihoods were at stake – is beyond words. Thanks in part to all of their efforts, the Food Bank is able to out in the community each day responding to COVID-19.”
This year’s top-performing restaurants included The Melting Pot, Rodizio Grill, Social, CooperSmith’s, Sonny Lubick Steakhouse, RARE Italian and Blue Agave.