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Pecan Lodge Owners Establish New Nonprofit to Bring Financial Assistance to Local Restaurants

The Dinner Bell Foundation will also pay for free meals for healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic

A bountiful barbecue platter at Pecan Lodge Robert Strickland
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

The owners of one of Dallas’s most beloved barbecue destination have created a new nonprofit organization that will bring assistance directly to restaurant owners and first responders during the coronavirus crisis.

Pecan Lodge owners Diane and Justin Fourton announced the brand new Dinner Bell Foundation in a statement on Thursday, with plans to provide direct financial assistance known as “bridge funding” to struggling small restaurants that have been forced to close their doors due to the pandemic. The organization will also help support Pecan Lodge’s ongoing work preparing free meals for healthcare workers and their families.

“Bridge funding distributions will help our small, local restaurants purchase essential supplies for food production and pay their employees during these unprecedented and difficult times that threaten to collapse our industry,” Diane Fourton said in a statement. “We want to help as many as possible. Justin and I have been working as fast as we can and around the clock to secure partnerships and get all the critical details in order.”

At present, all restaurants across the state have been required to close their doors until at least April 3, though it seems likely at this point that deadline will be extended.

The Fourtons are also in the process of fundraising for the organization via corporate grants and individual donations. Restaurants in need can also contact the Dinner Bell Foundation for help via its website.