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50Meals H ColorWe're paying living wages, strengthening small farms, and feeding hungry people with 50 Meals a Day.

Here's How it Works:
  • For $12—less than the average price of a meal out in Downtown Durham—you can feed a hungry person, keep people employed at a living wage, and strengthen a local farm.
  • We set aside $1 per meal to invest in local farms. Farmers can then apply for a microgrant to complete a project that will strengthen their infrastructure and help them to meet more demand for local produce, meat, and eggs.
  • We contribute $0.84 per meal to the administrative fees of our nonprofit sponsor Upstream Works in Durham.
  • The remaining $10 per meal goes to pay for ingredients purchased mainly from small, local farms, living-wage labor and our overhead costs such as electricity, water, and rent.
  • We partner with the Durham Community Food Pantry to distribute 50 meals at a time to people in need.
  • We do this up to 6 days a week, as much as funds permit. Our goal is to feed 300 hungry people in Durham each and every week. And we hope to expand to work with more farmers, restaurants, and nonprofit partners in the near future.

To Donate Via Check:
Make Check to: Upstream Works.
Memo: COPA 50 Meals
Mail to: 106 Drayton Court, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

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How 50 Meals a Day was Born:

When COPA and thousands of other restaurants were forced to close our dining rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us got to work finding new ways to feed people. Innovative programs like Feed the Frontline and Durham's Feed the Fight sprang up all over the country. Restaurants were being paid to feed frontline workers. 

At the same time, we had to begin using our PPP funds. But we had very little work in our restaurant for the team. So we supplemented with work on our farm, Terra Sacra. The COPA team jumped in enthusiastically and began working together to build up the infrastructure on our nascent farm. To date, they've helped us install greenhouses, install irrigation, strengthen and protect our water supply, and, of course, plant, harvest, and weed.

Not long after the shutdown, our nation's food supply chain began to break and people experienced shortages. But we never did.  We had already developed strong relationships with local farmers. They were able to step up and fill in the gap for us.

Soon, Chef Roberto began to see how all these pieces could come together to strengthen our entire local food chain while also reducing hunger in our community. That's when 50 Meals a Day was born.

Chef Roberto realized that if he could support local farms by both buying from them and investing in their infrastructure, our local food supply chain would be stronger and better. And if he could raise enough money to feed 50 people at a time 6 days a week, he could make a significant impact on hunger in our community while keeping his team employed. After all, a chef has 2 main jobs: 1) to feed people and 2) to take care of the team.

Thanks to the partnership with Upstream Works in Durham, we're able to receive tax-deductible donations and provide accountability for the money.

So, in summary, here's what we're doing:

We're buying ingredients from local farms to make meals to feed hungry people—and we're paying our team a living wage to do it in our kitchen. On top of that, we're setting aside $1 per meal, or $50 per delivery to invest in the infrastructure of small farms and help them strengthen their productivity. This is what's called a win-win. Now, are you in?

To Donate Via Check:
Make Check to: Upstream Works.
Memo: COPA 50 Meals
Mail to: 106 Drayton Court, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

DONATE ONLINE

SPREAD THE WORD