DC Restaurant Delivers Free Steak Dinners to Trapped Seniors

Posted: Mar 19, 2020 11:15 AM
DC Restaurant Delivers Free Steak Dinners to Trapped Seniors

Source: AP Photo/Eric Risberg

A D.C.-area steak house has been using their down time during closure to make sure stranded seniors in the region are eating well by delivering free steak dinners to those in need. 

"If anyone knows of anyone over 70 in the DMV that is quarantined, at home and needs a meal tonight, please DM me...we will make sure they get dinner," a tweet from Medium Rare promised last week. The popular restaurant currently has locations in Bethesda, MD, Arlington, VA, and the Northwestern D.C. neighborhood of Cleveland Park. 

Owner Mark Bucher described his concern that elderly residents in the area may not be tech savvy enough to fend for themselves through delivery apps. "Our people are there and they want to work and we’ve got the food, so for those that can’t get to us, let’s do something about it ... those folks that don’t have family near them or that might really be scared should get a comforting meal." Bucher said it is mostly the adult children of seniors that have been arranging for their elderly parents to receive meals. 

Since launching their effort to help seniors left high and dry by closures and social distancing, Medium Rare has received an outpouring of public support. They declined, however, to accept financial assistance from many who offered to pay for the dinners noting that their business had not been hit as hard as others. 

Rideshare drivers and others volunteered to help make the 60-70 deliveries in and around the nation's capital when they finished their shifts, giving Medium Rare the ability to make "contactless" deliveries to the vulnerable recipients. "We’ve got a whole network of drivers now that gives us the ability to get to people and reduce our expenses a little bit while doing good," Bucher said. 

As news of the good works by Medium Rare spread across the internet, the restaurant's efforts gained the support of the The National Football League Players Association. They vowed to continue their distribution of steak dinners while supplies last. 

Other D.C.-area restaurants and businesses have also stepped up to help those in the community suddenly faced with staggering financial loss and limited access to food. Northwest bar Hook Hall has offered to provide care packages to out-of-work members of the service industry. The "Hook Hall Care Kits" contain items donated from the bar and other local businesses and include nonperishable food, toilet paper, and other comforts such as hot tea. 

Hot prepared meals are also available for those from the hospitality workforce in need. 

"This isn’t over in a week,” Hook Hall owner Anna Valero said. “We are trying to raise as many dollars as possible so that we can sustain the efforts for the foreseeable future."

The bar partnered with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington to create a relief fund for those hospitality employees displaced by the Wuhan virus. Thus far, Hook Hall and RAMW have raised more than $50,000.