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Working Through the Weekend, Dallas Restaurants Distributed Thousands of Free Meals

With the assistance of nonprofits and a whole lot of compassion, many of the city’s eateries turned their attention to feeding those in need after Winter Storm Uri

Despite all the snow, Cane Rosso passed out hundreds of free pizzas
Cane Rosso/Facebook

The temperatures started to thaw this weekend, but the troubles for many Dallas/Fort Worth residents aren’t over. Boil water notices, damage from the storms, spoiled food from days without power and other issues meant may residents had to turn to local restaurants for sustenance.

In response to the need, a number of eateries across the city immediately jumped into providing free meals for those who needed them. On Saturday, Cane Rosso announced its its social media profiles that it would be giving away 300 pizzas from its Deep Ellum location with the help of nonprofit Cotton Global Disaster Solutions. The pizzeria, which was founded in Dallas on Valentine’s Day in 2011, should have been celebrating its 10-year anniversary this weekend, but instead, it was preparing meals to hand out to fellow Texans. Those efforts continued into today, with both the Deep Ellum location and Fort Worth offering free salads and pizzas for lunch.

At Oak Cliff taqueria Trompo, the restaurant paired up with Jarritos to feed more than 650 people on Saturday. World Central Kitchen, the culinary non-profit founded by Chef Jose Andres, partnered with Dallas restaurant Knife and Chef John Tesar to serve soup, beef and rice to residents of an apartment complex that houses newly-arrived immigrants to Texas. Chef Tim Love also partnered with WCK to feed residents of a senior apartment complex in Tarrant County whose normal meal delivery service had been disrupted by the weather.

Several local breweries also handed out free water. Fort Worth’s Hopfusion Ale Works wrote on Instagram that their water distribution would continue through the week and “as long as it takes” to meet residents needs.

One particularly hard-hit organization was Genesis Women’s Shelter, which provides assistance and housing to domestic violence survivors. The shelter had to close for the first time in 35 years after a burst pipe caused flooding and roof damage. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle learned of the closure and ended up making an undisclosed donation to the organization.

Dallas-based music venue, restaurant and ice house The Rustic launched an initiative to support Genesis. Now through March 8, anyone can donate a hot chicken and cheese sandwich to a resident of the shelter, with The Rustic matching all donations. The sandwich costs about $15 and can be purchased at this link.