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Google Is Teaming Up with Food Trucks to Let You Pay for Food with Photos

Google Is Teaming Up with Food Trucks to Let You Pay for Food with Photos

Google Photos is teaming up with popular food trucks across the country to bring you free food (if you’re quick enough)

Care for some free Google food?

Google is getting into the food truck business — well, sort of. The tech company is teaming up with food trucks across the country to give people food in exchange for quick photo-finding skills.It’s all part of a promotion for Google Photos, a Google app released in May that provides a one-stop shop for all of your photos and videos around the Internet. Participants will “pay” for their food by finding a photo on their phone using a specific search term, like “dog” or “beach,” under 20 seconds. If you have the fastest fingers in the West, or if you’re simply the quickest in line that day, you’ll win free food.

The Google Photos truck is coming to New York City at the end of this month. Food will be provided by the award-winning truck Wafels & Dinges, an authentic Belgian waffle truck, and other collaborations are expected. You can find the Google food truck from July 29 through August 2 during a morning and evening shift. The truck will be in DUMBO and on Astor Place on July 29, Wall Street and the Flatiron District on July 30, Chelsea and St. Mark’s Place on July 31, Midtown East and the West Village on August 1, and the Flatiron District and SoHo on August 2.

Not from New York? Google’s food trucks will visit Portland, Los Angeles, and Austin later this summer.


Forget the new Bronco, forget the BMW M4 (I bet you want to, with that face) and forget even the Volkswagen Arteon. In fact, forget almost every other consumer product that's set to debut this year. The new Ford F-150, set to be revealed tomorrow if it doesn't leak sooner, is by revenue perhaps the most important thing you can buy coming out in 2020.

Let's get past the obvious importance. We know it's America's best-selling vehicle, Ford's best-selling vehicle, and so crucial that the automaker literally can't afford to screw up its launch like the Explorer last year. But Bloomberg is here to examine what a big deal it—and by extension, the entire F-Series family—is in terms of sales numbers and total revenue. The results may surprise you, as they did for me. From the story:


2 The Garbage Truck (Los Angeles, CA)

Would you eat off something called The Garbage Truck? We definitely would!

The Garbage Truck is a Los Angeles-based food truck which brings the regionally loved "trash plate" from Rochester, NY to Southern California. And what is a trash plate, you ask? Its base consists of macaroni salad and home fries. Meat (a cheeseburger, hot dog, or piece of chicken) follows and is topped with meat sauce and a choice of onions, ketchup, mustard, extra meat hot sauce, TGT sauce, egg, or bacon.

Besides its famous signature plate, The Garbage Truck has a varied menu which also includes breakfasts. If you're in the LA area, you can check their schedule here.


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Inside the passenger compartment is the same motif on the upholstery of the new seats with an embroidered Hey Google label, while the dashboard strip is in matt silver with a white 500 logo.

The signature 'Hey Google' also appears on the welcome screen of the seven-inch touchscreen on-board display that shows the 'Hey Google' animation.

The exterior has not been changed, except a few minor details like the colorful dots that represent the 'Hey Google' animation

However, it is the collaboration of Google Assistant with My Fiat that provides users with a unique experience.

Vincenzo Riili, marketing director, Google Italy, wrote in the announcement: 'Anyone can ask Google Assistant for useful everyday information, like directions or weather updates.

'But thanks to the My Fiat Action, which integrates Fiat's Mopar Connect service and Google Assistant, owners of the new 500 Family Hey Google can access special features even when they aren't driving.'

There is also small Google badge above the driver side tire

The signature 'Hey Google' also appears on the welcome screen of the seven-inch touchscreen on-board display that shows the 'Hey Google' animation

Inside the passenger compartment is the same motif on the upholstery of the new seats with an embroidered Hey Google label, while the dashboard strip is in matt silver with a white 500 logo

'If you're at home but want to check your fuel level, see if your car is locked, find the closest Fiat service station or even switch on the emergency lights, all you have to say is 'Hey Google, ask My Fiat…'.

'Since I share my car with my partner, I know I'd be checking how full the fuel is pretty often!'

User can also command Google Assistant to access features via My Fiat, this includes unlocking doors, starting the vehicle, where you parked or opening the trunk.

The new Fiat 500s will be available in 10 European nations, including the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland.

Fiat Action that lets users remotely check settings of the vehicle using a smartphone app or Google Nest hub just by saying, 'Hey Google, ask My Fiat…'

Prices start at £16,005 ($22,046) for the hatchback and £18,655 ($25,695) for the cabriolet.

Wednesday's announcement puts Google in the running of tech-branded cars, but Apple's vehicle is said to be a self-driving model.

The Cupertino company has long been rumored to be developing an in-house car, but some of the latest news suggests the world could get the first look at the innovation by 2024.

Sources told Reuters they expect the company to rely on a manufacturing partner to build vehicles, just like Google, which would then be Apple-branded.


Want to dramatically improve Chicago’s entrepreneurial climate? Scrap the food-truck restrictions.

Chicago calls itself the "City that Works." For almost two centuries, generations have come to Chicago to roll up their sleeves, work hard and achieve their piece of the American Dream.

That's my story. When I started Cupcakes for Courage in 2011, all I had was my dream, some recipes and a single truck. But that truck gave me the know-how to expand my business into one brick-and-mortar bakery, and then another. Now I employ dozens of people.

That's also Portillo's story. Portillo's, home of the Chicago hot dog, started with a single trailer back in 1963. Now? Portillo's has restaurants in seven states and employs thousands.

These stories show that vending creates a path for entrepreneurs to learn, grow and create jobs. But that path is now largely gone in Chicago.

What happened? For years, the depressing reality has been that your business' success in Chicago often turns less on how good an idea you have, or how hard you work, and more on who you know at City Hall. So when powerful interests saw the food-truck trend coming to Chicago, they lobbied for laws to hobble their would-be competitors.

And that's what they got. In 2012, Chicago blocked food trucks from operating within 200 feet of any business selling food. That 200-foot rule makes most of the Loop a no-vending zone. And because it applies to private property, I couldn't team up with other businesses by selling in their parking lots. After all, violating the rule costs up to $2,000&mdash10 times more than parking in front of a fire hydrant.

Those same lobbyists also convinced Chicago to force food trucks to move every two hours. That wasn't a big deal for me, since I could start selling premade cupcakes as soon as I parked. But the two-hour limit&mdashwhich applies to both public and private property&mdashmakes it nearly impossible for gourmet, cook-on-board trucks to succeed.


Coronavirus prompts acts of kindness in Central Florida

There are more and more documented cases of coronavirus as each day passes, and the death toll continues to rise. Toilet paper and hand soap are scarce. Many businesses have been forced to close, including Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando.

But a few Central Floridians and local organizations are a shining light during these unpredictable times, performing acts of kindness.

Here are a few of their stories.

Yuengling, which has a brewery in Tampa, partnered with the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association to support its COVID-19 relief efforts. Through a commitment of $20,000, Yuengling will work with FRLA and its charitable partners to provide emergency funding to Florida hospitality workers, bartenders and waitstaff facing significant hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are proud to partner with FRLA to support its COVID-19 relief efforts and the thousands of Florida hospitality workers who have lost their jobs and incomes due to the pandemic,” said Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer and sixth generation family member of D.G. Yuengling & Son, in a press release. “Through our efforts, we hope Florida and its passionate workers will continue to thrive and succeed.”

Punch Card Management has worked with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to arrange a virtual food drive to support the local community.

PCM employees are matching donations up to $10,000.

For more information, go to feedhopenow.org.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Girl Scouts of Citrus has extended its cookie sales until the end of the summer and implemented a cookie relief transfer program to help troops with five or more cases of cookies. Those cookies are available for sale by the case to businesses and community supporters and can be donated to local first responders, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, essential workers and more under the Cookies for Heroes program.

For more information on Cookies for Heroes, call 1-800-367-3906 or email [email protected]itrus-gs.org.

Alexandria Restaurant Partners, which owns and operates Café Tu Tu Tango and Mia’s Italian Kitchen on International Drive, will begin distributing free family meals to hospitality workers in need in Central Florida.

Under its Tango Cares initiative, family meals that serve four will be distributed at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. every Wednesday and Thursday at Mia’s Italian Kitchen (8717 International Drive in Orlando).

Hospitality workers can sign up to receive a meal by using an online form.

When the COVID-19 pandemic upended the lives of Central Florida families, Girl Scouts of Citrus brought it’s girl-led programming to life in the virtual world. Working remotely, GSC staff produced more than 30 virtual programs for all age levels. Each program uses video to engage viewers in fun activities that sharpen their knowledge and skills.

Almost all GSC virtual programs are free. For more information and to view the content, go to girlscouts.org/en/girl-scouts-at-home.html.

Big Fin Seafood Kitchen had to temporarily release most of their team amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the restaurant operated at limited capacity, they collected more than $5,000 in tips from local customers. The management team decided to give the entire tip jar to the staff upon their return to work.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic’s effects on the restaurant industry, Nadia Mashar started the “United We Cook” initiative to put together a digital cookbook featuring recipes from 100 independent restaurants from 37 cities in the U.S. All proceeds from the sales of the book will go to participating restaurants and food banks.

The Osprey Tavern in Orlando, Fooq’s in Miami and Dolce Italian in Miami are among the restaurants featured in the book.

The book costs $30. For more information and to purchase, go to unitedwecook.org.

Orlando Health wanted to give their nurses flowers for Nurses Week and contacted the Bloom and Grow Garden Society in west Orange County for help.

BGGS picked up 500 donated orchids from Costa Farms in Apopka and 500 donated peace lily plants from Urban Jungle in Mount Dora. They then went to Office Depot to make cards for each plant, which the store offered free of charge. Lastly, Palm Tree Packing in Apopka donated pot covers for the plants.

The assembled plants were then distributed to nurses at Orlando Health and AdventHealth in Winter Garden.

Kaitlyn Fusco, who is married to an Osceola Regional Medical Center emergency medicine doctor, started Orlando Feed It Forward, an organization that feeds Central Florida healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic with meals from struggling local restaurants, such as Little Greek Fresh Grill in Celebration, Tacos My Guey in Orlando, Jason’s Deli in Orlando, PDQ in Hunters Creek, Bento and Cocktails Catering in Orlando.

“I see what my husband does every day and I wanted to do my part in showing my support for him and his colleagues, and I want them to know I am here for them.” said Fusco in a press release. “My family has deep roots in the restaurant business, and I know how much local businesses are struggling right now, so this is to support them, too.”

The organization has raised more than $3,800. More than 800 meals and snacks, plus over 40 thank you cards, have been delivered to Central Florida hospitals.

Those would like to donate can do so at gofundme.com/f/orlando-feed-it-forward. Local restaurants that would like to participate can send an email to [email protected]

Tijuana Flats and the Just In Queso Foundation started the Restaurant Partners Helping Heroes program to unite local restaurants to raise funds and provide free meals to frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Barton Malow Builders distributed “Return to Work Kits” to its 2,000 nationwide employees — including 250 in Central Florida. The kits included anti-fog safety glasses, hand sanitizer, face coverings, neck gaiters, nitrile disposable gloves and pre-moistened toilettes.

Children’s Home Society of Florida, a national leader in trauma-informed counseling, launched free, 24/7 confidential online counseling for kids, parents and others. Their Family Support Warm Line connects users to a real counselor with a call, text or click. For more information, go to chsfl.org/support.

In addition, two Children’s Home Society of Florida case managers rotated in shifts to make sure a boy in foster care never had to be alone during his stay at a Central Florida hospital.

Floyd’s 99 Barbershop is teaming up with The Ravenous Pig to offer free haircuts and beer to first responders. The event takes place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. May 16-17 at 565 W. Fairbanks Ave. in Winter Park.

On May 15, all Chuck E. Cheese locations across the U.S., including seven in Orlando, will donate a percentage of sales to the Boys & Girls Club of America to celebrate the holiday, according to a press release. In addition, each restaurant will donate family meals to organizations in their community, including first responders and medical personnel. In Central Florida, deliveries will go to Orlando Health and AdventHealth East Orlando.

“Giving back to the communities and the families we serve is a Chuck E. Cheese core value, and we look forward to a wonderful day of giving throughout the U.S. and around the world,” said Sherri Landry, CEC Entertainment chief marketing officer, in the press release.

Orlando resident Steven Yalowitz used part of his stimulus check to purchase lunches from Latin Square Cuisine — which has been struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic — and distributed the meals to homeless people in downtown Orlando.

Easy Event Planning has shifted its focus to a platform they developed called “Honor And Thank,” which allows anyone who uses it to send a message of gratitude and thanks to a healthcare worker or facility. Messages can be posted in photos, video or text and can reach more than 12,000 healthcare facilities.

“During this time of crisis in our nation, it’s essential that we join together to honor and thank the first responders in the hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities . ” read a press release from Easy Event Planning. “They are putting their own health and the health of their loved ones back home at risk every single day.”

For more information or to send a message, go to easyeventplanning.com/honor-and-thank.

Amazon donated $100,000 to Feeding Florida, the partner state association of Feeding America, the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization. The donation will help feed thousands of Floridians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Amazon is committed to supporting Floridians year-round, but especially during times of need,” said Rob Packett, Southeast regional director of operations at Amazon, in an email. “We’re honored to team up with Feeding Florida to do our part in making sure that Floridians have access to the food essentials needed to make it through these challenging times.”

Best Friends Animal Society employee Emily Park printed #ViralKindness cards and placed them in three Free Little Library stations. The cards were designed by Best Friends to connect neighbors who could lend a helping hand.

She heard from a family in need and posted on Nextdoor asking for help.

This led Park to connect with her neighbor Wednesday Hugus, who operates a contamination-free people and pet pantry in her garage, where a team of volunteers prepare and deliver meals to neighbors in need.

Twenty neighbors also responded to Park’s post, providing supplies, grocery gift cards and cash. Park shopped for groceries from Hugus’ pantry and delivered everything to the family in need.

Park’s neighborhood network continues to offer support and donations, which she distributes to those in need.

“It’s helped connect me to the beautiful community I didn’t realize was right outside my door and given all of us something to feel good about during a really devastating time,” she said in an email.

Jeremiah’s Italian Ice plans to give away more than 1,000 free treats to healthcare workers in Central Florida. They’re handing out treats from 3-5 p.m. on May 12 at Poinciana Medical Center (325 Cypress Parkway in Kissimmee) and 12-3 p.m. May 13 at Orlando Regional Medical Center (22 W. Underwood St. in Orlando).

In response to the coronavirus, since April, the Sikh Society of Central Florida has provided free meals to those who stop by the Oviedo organization. They are currently serving about 500 meals from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each Sunday.

They’ve also hosted a blood drive and have plans to host another in the near future.

The Learning Experience in Apopka is offering free child care to local first responders and health care workers through an emergency child care scholarship program.

To qualify, applicants must be employed with a first responder organization or essential medical organization, be a resident of Orange or Osceola county and have a child under age 13.

Learn more and apply through nonprofit organization Community Coordinated Care for Children (4C) at 4cflorida.org/child-care-for-first-responders-and-health-care-workers.

Orlando Utilities Commission honored and thanked grocery store workers by feeding nearly 400 employees last week at eight locations across Orange and Osceola counties.

Bite Squad purchased and delivered free lunches on May 11 to frontline healthcare professionals at AdventHealth Orlando. The company will continue to provide hospital staff with meals, including a delivery on May 12 at Orlando Regional Medical Center and May 14 at the Orlando Police Department.

“So many lives have been disrupted here in Orlando and throughout the country. We all count on those on the frontline workers to help us get through this,” said CEO Carl Grimstad in a press release. “We know the hospital workers are the ones dealing directly with the patients, so we are honored to have an opportunity – and a responsibility – to do what we can to help those in the areas we serve.”

The Orlando neighborhood Keene’s Pointe decided to come together for a cheery activity during this pandemic: a socially-distant flash mob. One resident of the community drove around on a golf cart, capturing families in their front yard as they danced along to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” It’s apparent from this video that Keene’s Pointe residents definitely have that sunshine in their pockets, maybe even that good soul in their feet.

The residents of Orlando neighborhood Porter Place decided to show support and recognition for all graduating residents (kindergarten, high school and college graduates) by hosting a socially distanced graduation ceremony at 3:30 p.m. May 2. The ceremony will have a guest speaker, and graduates (who are encouraged to dress in their school colors and attend with family) will receive a “graduation certificate” as a recognition for their achievements. There will be a balloon arch and cupcake celebration to follow. Later that evening, there will be a sidewalk chalk art show and sunset stroll from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Nonprofit Never Stand Alone and grassroots movement Masks 4 CFL have partnered to distribute masks in Central Florida, starting with giving away 5,000 three-ply, protective face masks. So far, they’ve delivered masks to the city of Winter Park, city of Maitland, Winter Park Post Office, BurgerFi, Kelly Price and Company, Orchid Thai, Pannullo’s, Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen, Tabla, Sanford Brewing Company and Midici Pizza.

“As Central Floridians, we have personal ties to so many heroic healthcare workers, essential workers, non profit volunteers and community members that are risking their lives every day,” a press release stated. “During these uncertain times, we are hoping that you will find this challenge to be an outlet to share hope and connection. It is our sincere hope that our donations will build the momentum to help flatten the curve.”

Those interested in donating to the cause can find more information at neverstandalone.org. or masks4cfl.com.

Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers announced its new “A Pie for A Pie” community giving program. For every pizza sold on April 30, the Mellow Mushroom’s Orlando, International Drive and Winter Park franchisees will donate pies to Bags of Hope, which provides meals for school children in need. Mellow Mushroom’s Sanford franchisee will donate pies to Central Florida Regional Hospital, and Mellow Mushroom Port Orange and Mount Dora will donate pies to the local fire and police stations.

“Mellow Mushroom is delighted to launch A Pie for a Pie to help those helping others,” said Jill Brown, Mellow Mushroom’s Sanford store owner, in a press release. “We are grateful to so many people who have helped us survive this unprecedented time.”

The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando is distributing free dog and cat food for those in need of a helping paw. The contactless curbside pickup is 10 a.m-noon May 1 at 2727 Conroy Road in Orlando and 2800 County Home Road in Sanford.

Huey Magoo’s is donating free lunch to healthcare heroes throughout the Southeast. Each of Huey Magoo’s 10 restaurants in Central Florida and the newest stores in South Florida and Atlanta will deliver lunch to 12 different medical facilities at 12:30 p.m. on April 29.

The Central Florida deliveries are as follows.

  • CentraCare: 440 W. State Road 436 in Altamonte Springs
  • CentraCare: 1520 W. Orange Blossom Trail in Apopka
  • CentraCare: 2948 W. Lake Mary Boulevard in Lake Mary
  • CentraCare: 1014 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach
  • CentraCare: 8014 Conroy Windermere Road, suite 104, in Orlando
  • CentraCare: 8010 Red Bug Lake Road in Oviedo
  • CentraCare: 4320 W. Vine St. in Kissimmee
  • CentraCare: 15701 State Road 50, suite #101, in Clermont
  • CentraCare: 2301 Sand Lake Road in Orlando
  • CentraCare: 855 N. US Highway 1792 in Longwood

Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. has been serving up support in the Central Florida community and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 22, Barnie’s donated 50 cups of coffee to AdventHealth’s team working at The Mall at Millenia testing site. On March 27, the company donated coffee and breakfast to healthcare professionals at AdventHealth’s Winter Park campus. Barnie’s also donated a palette of coffee to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida during its “Christmas in April Zoom Party” on April 10.

Siblings Brianna Ruiz, 12, and Alex Ruiz, 8, who live in Oviedo, made Easter/spring soaps for the residents at an Orlando nursing home. The pair performed this act of kindness in memory of their aunt — Judith Benton, who owned a homemade soap business and taught Brianna the craft — and great-grandma, Shirley Schwebs who lived at the nursing home before passing away about a year ago.

The YMCA of Central is offering no-cost childcare to first responders, frontline healthcare workers and essential workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Select YMCA family centers will open their doors to a maximum of 45 attendees per day. Participants must register online at ymcacentralflorida.com/emergencychildcare.

Sparkling Ice launched its first-ever Cheers to Heroes contest to give America’s hometown heroes a chance to win $10,000. Through June 14, Orlando residents can nominate a local hero who has made a difference while on the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. The winner, who will be announced the first week of August, will be awarded $10,000 and the person who nominated the winner will receive $500. For more information and to nominate someone, go to apfco.com/Secured/W1824/NominateAHero.

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris has teamed up with Convoy of hope to donate 1 million FDA-approved ASTM Level 1 Procedure face masks to healthcare workers and first responders working on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis across the United States, according to a press release. In Central Florida, AdventHealth — Health Central Hospital, AdventHealth — Daytona Beach and Holmes Regional Health First will receive 14,000 face masks total.

“We are extremely grateful to our nation’s healthcare workers serving on the frontlines of this unprecedented global health crisis,” said Morris in a press release. “These heroic men and women continue to dedicate their lives to save the loved ones of others, and we are all honored to support them on behalf of everyone at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, and the communities we serve.”

Walmart and Nextdoor are coming together to make it easier for neighbors in Orlando to help each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the new “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program, Nextdoor members in Orlando can request assistance or offer to help someone in their community by coordinating the pickup and delivery of their groceries, medications and other essentials with a neighbor already planning a trip to Walmart.

If a Nextdoor member wants help shopping or wants to offer assistance, visit Nextdoor.com or log into the Nextdoor app, click the “Groups” tab and find Walmart stores closeby at the top of the page. Members can then share a message in the group indicating if they need or want to help and communicate to work out the details.

F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen and F&D Cantina launched First Responder Fridays. Each week, the restaurants are raising money to donate meals to a local fire station, police station or healthcare group. They are also matching every donation received.

Downtown Credo has launched Front Line Coffee to allow others to support healthcare workers by purchasing a cup of coffee via squareup.com. The funds raised will be made available for frontline workers to use at Downtown Credo’s AdventHealth Village location (550 E. Rollins St. in Orlando). All they have to do is show their badge to receive a free coffee.

After hearing a customer couldn’t pick up pizza kits for their family because their car was towed and they were using what little money they had to retrieve it, a Tomasino’s Pizza employee decided to help.

The employee purchased dinner and dessert for the family and delivered it to their home. Tomasino’s sent two pizza kits to the family the following day.

In addition, Tomasino’s has served more than 500 essential workers with their “give back to the community“ donations.

Seminole High School showed their appreciation for local healthcare workers, sharing messages of gratitude via video.

Downtown Orlando’s Church Street Market donated $25,000 on April 7 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, which distributes meals to food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, daycare centers and more.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to show up for our communities we believe it’s imperative that we act with empathy and do all we can to take care of one another,” said Erin Devlin, regional marketing manager at ShopCore Properties, in a press release. “Central Florida school districts are working hard to supply lunches and breakfast to students in need, and with this donation, Church Street Market is helping Second Harvest of Central Florida provide healthy food to even more kids and families throughout the region.”

In addition to the food bank donation, the property is supporting its tenants and providing lunch to first responders. This week, Church Street Market bought lunch from Jersey Mike’s for the Orlando Fire Department.

3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg will give 50 free cases of beer to first responders, health care workers, grocers, janitors, postal workers, sanitation workers and other workers on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus through April 30.

They are asking members of the public to tag @3DaughtersBrewing on Facebook or Instagram and @3dbrewing on Twitter to nominate their Florida hero by using the hashtag #FloridaHeroes in posts. The brewery will randomly select winners, who will be notified so they can go to the brewery to pick up their beer.

“As all of us join together in fighting this disease, we raise a glass to those who are putting their lives on the line to keep ours intact,” said Mike Harting, owner of 3 Daughters Brewing, in a press release.

Guests can donate sandwiches to first responders in their communities with Dickey’s Barbecue Pit’s new First Responder Relief Packs, which include bundles of five or 10 pulled pork sandwiches. Plus, the Dickey family has pledged to match every sandwich donated to double the efforts to feed first responders.

To participate, guests can go to dickeys.com and add First Responder Relief Packs to their order. Dickey’s, in partnership with The Dickey Foundation, will carry out the delivery on the guest’s behalf.

Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company is taking their mobile coffee bar to AdventHealth locations throughout Orlando this week and next to serve free coffee and tea to healthcare providers and volunteers.

World of Beer Orlando is asking Central Florida residents to help “Pay it Forward” by donating $10 that will be used to purchase a meal for a healthcare professional. In return, World of Beer will match each meal.

The next “Pay it Forward” dinner will go to employees at Orlando VA Lake Nona on April 16. Additional drop-offs will occur every Thursday at different locations.

“As we find ourselves in a global health crisis, we at World of Beer recognize that we are stronger together.” said Paul Avery, president and CEO of World of Beer, in a press release. “Our hope is to serve the best way that we can during these challenging times and to show our support for those who are risking their health every day at the front lines of this COVID-19 battle. They are true heroes.”

Orlando-based Hanover Family Builders is matching donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000 that will go directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to provide meals to kids, families and seniors in need.

“It’s heart-warming, all of the generous people in Central Florida, they have really stepped up big-time," said Matt Orosz, Hanover Family Builder’s co-president.

Icon Park is collecting donations via a GoFundMe campaign (gofundme.com/f/iconparkorlando-firstresponders) to provide meals to first responders and healthcare workers. Local hospitality employees at the Icon Park Yard House, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill will use 100 percent of the donations collected to deliver meals to the Orlando Health, Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, Orange County Fire Department Station 57 and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sector 5 Substation.

“ICON Park and our tenant partners are always looking for ways to add light to our community,” said Chris Jaskiewicz, Icon Park CEO and president, in a press release. “We’re proud to honor our first responders and healthcare employees while supporting local hospitality workers by establishing a convenient way for caring residents to donate meals.”

Firehouse Subs’ Orlando franchisees Scott Anthony and Don Davey have partnered with Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to donate more than 500 meals to local healthcare workers and first responders to thank them for their service during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, they’ve given meals to employees at Orange County Fire Rescue Station 36, Solaris Healthcare in Ocoee, AdventHealth in Kissimmee, Orlando Health in Winter Garden, Nemours Hospital, AdventHealth Hospital in Apopka, Deland Police Department, Orland Police Department, Altamonte Springs Police Department and Osceola Regional Medical Center.

FLAG (Front-Line Appreciation Group), which provides meals to first responders fighting the coronavirus pandemic nationally, has launched in Central Florida.

The local chapter was founded by David Linn, a former local food truck owner, and Jason Hoffman, a manager for an Orlando-based restaurant group who was recently furloughed by the virus.

“This is a win-win for both our hero first responders, who deserve good meals during their shifts, and our local restaurants who have been impacted by this pandemic,” said Hoffman in a press release.

So far, they’ve delivered 140 meals to three hospitals, one police station and one fire and rescue station.

“Orlando is being impacted far worse than almost any city, and donating is an easy way everyone can help our front-line heroes from the safety of their homes,” Linn said.

On April 11, Margaritaville Resort Orlando provided meals for 100 first responders at AdventHealth Celebration Hospital.

Buca di Beppo has delivered meals to hospitals across the U.S., including AdventHealth Celebration Hospital in Orlando, where they’ll deliver 200 meals each day from April 14-16.

Wahlburgers launched the #WhateverYouNeed initiative to help support and serve local communities. Currently, the franchise is focusing on feeding healthcare workers and first responders, but it’s also accepting food donation requests.

Skylines across the nation are shining a light on first responders at 8 p.m. April 9 by transforming their landmarks, arenas, office towers and more into blue beacons of hope under the #LightItBlue movement. In Central Florida, Piedmont Office Realty Trust is joining the initiative with two Orlando properties, including CNL Center I and 200 South Orange.

The campaign also invites Americans to join in by wearing blue, decorating windows and doorways with blue and sharing their images or messages for essential workers on social media with the hashtag #LightItBlue.

Sonny’s BBQ fed more than 270 healthcare workers on April 7 at AdventHealth Orlando. They fed them lunch and dinner, plus they’re planning to return next week as well.

DeLand will ring bells to thank doctors, nurses, health professionals and first responders. At 4:15 p.m. on April 15, the city will join several Central Florida communities, including Eustis, Leesburg, Tavares and Lake County, by ringing the bell atop “The Sutherland” antique fire engine outside City Hall.

The city is also asking others across Florida to do the same and post videos on social media with the hashtag #bellsofthanks.

Don Julio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar is offering a free meal to first responders from 12-8 p.m. on April 13 to thank them for their service. Bring a valid badge or ID and receive a pick two meal (taco, enchilada, burrito or quesadilla with rice and beans).

Orange County Sheriff John Mina, along with more than 50 deputies, saluted health care heroes with lights, sirens and a cruiser parade on April 7 at AdventHealth Orlando. A giant heart with “Thank You Health Care Heroes” on it was also displayed in the middle of the campus.

Palm Bay residents Nicole and Chris Flanagan are making ear guards for Central Florida nurses for free.

East Coast Believers Church in Oviedo is providing free Easter dinner kits — complete with ham, potatoes, vegetables, rolls and pie — for 300 families in need. The kits will be distributed on a first come, first served basis from 12-4 p.m. (line up begins at 11:30 a.m.) April 10 at 3053 W. State Road 426 in Oviedo.

The Chronic Warrior Collective and local nonprofit SadieStyle have teamed up for the Voodoo Thank You Tour, a project that seeks to feed essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s how it works. Online donations can be made at chronicwarriorcollective.com/voodoo-thank-you. Each time they reach $1,500 (the cost to feed about 125 people), the Voodoo Kitchen food truck will be dispatched in Central Florida to hospitals, grocery stores, gas stations, first responders, pharmacies and essential businesses.

“We see it as a win-win-win,” said Dawn Veselka, Chronic Warrior Collective consultant, in a press release. “Our hope is to unite Central Florida with a gratitude purpose, preserve a food truck, and show those on the front lines how much they are appreciated. These healthcare heroes and essential workers have devoted their lives to taking care of us this is our small chance to take care of them.”

Up to 1,000 restaurant-prepared meals will be safely delivered to the homes of seniors and disabled adults this month thanks to Meals of Love. Created in response to the coronavirus pandemic, this is a new partnership among the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Senior Resource Alliance, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, according to a press release.

“Now, more than ever, we need to take care of each other,” said Karla Radka, president and CEO of the Senior Resource Alliance, in the press release. “Meals of Love benefits our beloved elderly and disabled adult population, complementing the incredible year-round service provided by our agency partners, while providing an economic opportunity for the hard-hit restaurant industry.”

Meals of Love will serve Orange, Seminole, Brevard and Osceola counties and is currently accepting applications for seniors and disabled adults interested in meal delivery and restaurants interested in participating. For more information, visit mealsoflove.org.

The corporate office of the Terrace of St. Cloud made a banner for the nursing and rehab center’s nurses and staff to show their appreciation of the time and effort the facility has put toward helping its residents during the coronavirus pandemic.


The Kitchen

The Kitchen is sharing fall dishes and memories to warm your heart as you transition into the autumn season. The hosts kick things off by meeting Katie Lee's new baby, and Katie shares her easy make-ahead Fall Kale and Sausage Pasta Bake. Alex Guarnaschelli bakes Roasted Sweet Potato Quick Bread and drops off a loaf at Katie's home. Then, Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey Zakarian team up to make an epic meal of Jeff's Smoky Pork Chops with Caramelized Onions and Apples and Geoffrey's Couscous with Swiss Chard, Raisins and Warm Spices. Sunny Anderson prepares her delicious Easy Caramel Apple Cheesecake Dip. Plus, QVC host Mary DeAngelis joins The Kitchen to share her Hot Apple Cider Donut Mocktail.

"Sweater Weather" Weeknight Warrior

The Kitchen is making a week's worth of quick, easy meals that are comfy and cozy for the cool weather. Geoffrey Zakarian shows how simple lamb can be for a weeknight meal with his Harissa and Fennel Marinated Lamb Chops with Tapenade. Then, Jeff Mauro makes his delicious Thai Green Curry with Shrimp, and Katie Lee shares her Turkey Meatloaf with Cranberry Ketchup Glaze and Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. Sunny Anderson whips up her Tex-Mex Chili Mac Skillet, and Alex Guarnaschelli shares a cheesy vegetarian dish, her Loaded Vegetable Quesadillas. Plus, actress and chef Valerie Bertinelli joins the hosts to share two ice cream sauces for easy end-of-the-week sweets.

Haunt Your Home

The Kitchen has easy ideas for a ghoulishly good Halloween. Jeff Mauro shares his Smoky Butternut Queso Dip, and Alex Guarnaschelli makes her delicious homemade Sunflower Butter Cups. Then, Sunny Anderson gives the secrets to making her Bloody Beef Fingers that will leave you horrified yet satisfied. Geoffrey Zakarian prepares a decadent and festive Pumpkin Pie Creme Brulee served in mini pumpkins. Plus, Katie Lee cooks her hearty Pumpkin Chili with a fun garnish, Alex has some spooky ways to start the day, and the hosts share unforgettable Halloween tricks and scares!

#KitchenGoals

The Kitchen hosts are taking on viral trends and tackling their #KitchenGoals! Jeff Mauro starts by recreating a popular dish from his hometown, Chicago Pizza Pot Pie with Pepperoni Sauce and Baby Bella Mushrooms. Then Alex Guarnaschelli puts her spin on a viral egg sandwich challenge with her Monte Cristo Breakfast Sandwich, and Geoffrey Zakarian has a twist on the bread-baking trend with his Garden Focaccia. Sunny Anderson shares a new way to make sliders with her 5-Ingredient Stuffed Slider Bake -- Two Ways. Plus, Katie Lee makes her Granola Cookies, a trending and surprisingly healthy cookie that's perfect for breakfast, and Jeff makes Waffle Cereal, an easy spin on viral pancake cereal.

Fall Throwdown

The Kitchen hosts are tossing, cooking and tasting their favorite fall produce! Sunny Anderson kicks things off with cranberries in her Easy Cheese and Cranberry Stuffed Grilled Chicken. Katie Lee uses butternut squash in her Farro and Butternut Squash Salad, and Alex Guarnaschelli shares a new recipe for fall pears with a Rutabaga, Turnip and Pear Gratin. Jeff Mauro uses apples in his hearty Chicken Sausage with Apples, Sage and Cabbage. Geoffrey Zakarian features his favorite vegetable in Charred Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple, and the hosts also play Try or Deny with fall-flavored treats.

Fall for Your Pantry

The Kitchen hosts fall in love with the pantry thanks to seasonal dishes using pantry staples. Katie Lee starts things off with her Chicken Bolognese using a secret ingredient that stumps all the hosts: evaporated milk! Alex Guarnaschelli dazzles with her Popovers with Sesame Butter and Spiced Pear Jam, and then Jeff Mauro and Geoffrey Zakarian make side-by-side salads: German-Style Sweet Potato Salad and Lentil Salad with Mushrooms and Pink Lady Apples. Finally, Sunny Anderson makes her 1-2-3 Ingredient Spicy Bean Dip, and the hosts share tours of their own pantries.

No-Rules-Giving

The Kitchen hosts are breaking all the Thanksgiving rules to make a fun, easy and creative feast! Katie Lee and Sunny Anderson kick things off with their twists on turkey: Katie's Bacon Wrapped Turkey Breast with "Stuffing" Croutons and Sunny's Cornish Game Hens and Veggie Holiday Cheat Sheet. Next, Geoffrey Zakarian shakes up sides with his Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Sausage and Ricotta. Then, Jeff Mauro fries up the feast with a Turkey-Tommy Changa. Plus, Katie's pie-inspired Thanksgiving Sundae Duo, a Frozen Apple Pie Margarita, and the host of Food Network's Candy Land, Kristin Chenoweth, joins the party!

Turkey Day To-Do List

The Kitchen hosts get ready for the big turkey day with a to-do list! Geoffrey Zakarian makes his picture perfect Whole Roasted Turkey with Sumac, Lemon and Thyme, plus gravy! Then, Sunny Anderson takes cranberry sauce to the next level with her Charred Orange Cranberry Relish. Jeff Mauro checks off a sensational side dish with his Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, and Katie Lee shares her Cornbread Dressing with Sausage and Mushrooms. Katie's got dessert covered with a Pumpkin Spice Latte Pie, and the hosts have decor ideas, wine tips and an unforgettable game that the family will love!

Holiday Hall of Fame

The Kitchen hosts have festive new ideas to enter into the Holiday Hall of Fame, and they also take a look at past favorites. First, Geoffrey Zakarian's magnificent main is Ginger Chili Glazed Ham with a Flambe Finish, and the hosts look back at previous sides worth sampling before Sunny Anderson showcases her Loaded Mashed Potato Bar. After a review of award-winning appetizers, Valerie Bertinelli makes her Pistachio and Pomegranate Cheese Log with Pomegranate Glaze. Then, a virtual cookie swap kicks off with Katie Lee sending her Easy Cherry Pistachio Biscotti Cookies to Jeff Mauro, who creates his Christmas Sweater Cookies and sends the traveling cookie tin to a special surprise guest. Finally, Geoffrey ends on a sweet note with his Pomegranate Punch.

Cookies and Mocktails

Geoffrey Zakarian welcomes singer Meghan Trainor to share her holiday sugar cookie decorating technique, and he shares a holiday mocktail with her.

Home for the Holidays

The holidays might look a little different this year, but the Kitchen has tips to make the meal feel special and festive, even with a smaller crew! Jeff Mauro starts with Pastrami-Rubbed Short Ribs, and Sunny Anderson shares the perfect side with Beefed-Up Charred Veggie and Cheese Grits. Katie Lee makes Roasted Vegetables with Herbed Feta, Pistachio and Pomegranate, and Geoffrey Zakarian fries up Sausage and Parmesan Arancini. Cookbook author Eden Grinshpan shares the secrets to perfect Latkes - 3 Ways, and Alex Guarnaschelli serves up Chocolate Rum Balls. Finally, the hosts toast to a happy and healthy holiday season.

A Kitchen Carol

The spirited ghosts of "A Kitchen Carol" provide holiday inspiration! Katie Lee cooks up a Pork Crown Roast with Roasted Potato and Vegetables. Then, Sunny Anderson makes a Smokey Bar Nut Mix, Alex Guarnaschelli prepares Flaming Provolone with Parsley Toast, and Jeff Mauro whips up an easy Peppermint Skillet Cake. Finally, Geoffrey Zakarian toasts to the holidays with a Blood Orange Sherry Cobbler Cocktail Punch.

Brunchday Funday

The Kitchen hosts are helping you pull off the perfect brunch at home! Geoffrey Zakarian kicks things off with his Lambrusco Spritz Sangria. Then, bring on the benedicts with Geoffrey's Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict with Sauce Maltaise and Katie Lee's Country-Style Eggs Benedict. Jeff Mauro has a twist on a trend with his Cannoli-Style Ricotta toast, and Sunny Anderson grills up her Easy Bacon, Peppers and Cheese Home Fries. Alex Guarnaschelli finishes the meal on a sweet note with her Powdered-Style Cake Donuts and Melted Coffee Ice Cream Latte.


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Arnold, Pittsburgh churches team up to boost pierogi power

Patrons are advised to order in advance. Anyone can stop by the day of the sale, but there's no guarantee there will any pierogi left.

• St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church, Arnold, 1601 Kenneth Ave., place orders at 724-339-9257 for pickup on Fridays from noon until 4:30 p.m.

•St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church, Pittsburgh South Side, 109 S 7th St., place orders at 412-481-5022 on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noon or Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Pick up on Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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It&rsquos a pierogi-making partnership to best foodie rivals.

Teaming up are two Ukrainian Catholic churches: St. Vladimir in Arnold and St. John the Baptist in Pittsburgh&rsquos South Side, whose iconic Byzantine domes often are photographed against the city&rsquos skyline.

The union of these two ethnic food powerhouses is for good reason: To help raise $500,000 to shore up a leaky roof and other repairs needed at St. John&rsquos, the oldest surviving Ukrainian Catholic church in the country. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated a landmark by the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation.

The two churches share the same priest and, not surprisingly, the tradition of making homemade pierogi for decades. They also are among the few churches left in the region to offer freshly made pierogi to the public weekly, September until Easter.

What does this new pierogi partnership mean to you?

More church-made pierogi in new venues in the region. Kick-starting the effort, St. John is offering two new fillings for the famous Eastern European dumplings available at St. Vlad&rsquos &mdash the rare cottage cheese variety and another, unusual breed: the sauerkraut with kielbasa pierogi.

Given the lofty goal of raising $500,000, one might wonder if anyone can make that many pierogi.

But the Rev. Yaroslav Koval believes his volunteers at St. John&rsquos can double their production.

And the product, &ldquochurch pierogi,&rdquo is unbeatable, he says.

&ldquoThe Ukraine is the bread basket of Europe, and we know how to make many things from flour,&rdquo Koval said.

&ldquoOur people grew up with the old recipes. It&rsquos something we inherited from our parents. It&rsquos something no one else can do. It&rsquos like gold,&rdquo he said.

Indeed, the ethnic delicacies have been bringing in the dough for both churches, paying for a number of expenses over the years. It&rsquos become essential for St. Vlad&rsquos, whose parish has dwindled to about 34 members.

Volunteers from other churches fill the ranks of cooks who show up weekly Wednesdays through Fridays at Vlad&rsquos, where pierogi has been made since 1938.

Marlene Browoski, 85, of Plum is a member of Mt. St. Peter church in New Kensington. She has been volunteering for about five years, following a friend who volunteered.

&ldquoI love to cook, and the people here are nice,&rdquo she said. &ldquoIt&rsquos that simple.&rdquo

Another nonparishioner, Michelle Jackson, 46, of New Kensington volunteered to get closer to the pierogi, which she calls &ldquoa treasure.&rdquo

Along with other alumni of H.D. Berkey Elementary School in Arnold, Jackson became a fan in the sixth grade, when the older students were allowed to &ldquorun down to St. Vlad&rsquos during lunch,&rdquo she said. &ldquoAnd you just hoped there were some pierogi left.&rdquo

Patrons are repeat customers.

Christopher Slosky, 49, of Lower Burrell has been coming since he was in the fourth grade. On a recent Friday, he picked up three dozen, although, admittedly, not all were for him. &ldquoI&rsquom turning my buddies at work onto these.&rdquo

The aroma of butter and onions is telltale in both kitchens. The scent lingers in warm air created by boiling off all of the dumplings over the course of a few hours.

Only the seasoned hands of veteran pierogi pinchers pull off the culinary feat of dumplings by the dozen.

The pierogi are challenging to make, according to St. John&rsquos volunteers on a recent Thursday.

There&rsquos pinching, and then there&rsquos pinching.

&ldquoI&rsquom not a good pincher,&rdquo Margaret Klimko, 71, of Brentwood admits. &ldquoMy pierogi turn out looking like bananas.&rdquo

Although Klimko is known for her skill at &ldquopysanky,&rdquo the traditional Ukrainian Easter egg painting, that skill, apparently, doesn&rsquot translate to pierogi making.

Mary Kozikowski, 74, of the South Side has been a pincher for 40 years.

&ldquoThe cottage cheese is sticky and mushy and the sauerkraut and kielbasa are the worst to handle,&rdquo she said. &ldquoThey can fall apart easy.&rdquo A commanding woman in the kitchen, Kozikowski is among the veteran cooks who can slay any dumpling filling.

Michele Myers, 65, of Mt. Lebanon explains the special talent: &ldquoEach one is pinched with love.&rdquo

Myers&rsquo grandmother, the late Mary Bohonek, was among the first women to start pierogi making at St. John&rsquos in 1960. &ldquoAs a child, we took it for granted, your aunts and grandmothers made it. Now, you know the effort.&rdquo

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Support Local Journalism and help us continue covering the stories that matter to you and your community.


It’s Not Just Bread, It’s Love

The healing properties of ancient grains are no surprise to Fetlework Tefferi, who grew up eating them every day in Ethiopia. When Tefferi founded the celebrated Oakland restaurant Cafe Colucci in 1991, she knew she needed to start making injera, the flatbread made from sourdough ancient grains on which she was raised.

“It wouldn’t be Ethiopian food without injera,” she told me. “Nobody would eat it.”

After Tefferi moved to the United States at the age of 16, she and her friends struggled to recreate the bread that was their daily staple. “The quality is very important,” Tefferi explained. “It has to have these bubbles — eyes, we call them in Ethiopia — you cannot have injera without eyes.” As Tefferi learned, the secret to eyes is a two-day fermentation, which lends injera both its signature flavor and beneficial microbes.

Each day, Tefferi and her staff prepare 400 to 600 pieces of the large round flatbread, serving both the restaurant and the adjacent grocery and spice shop that Tefferi also manages. She’s been using the same sourdough starter for 10 years now, which she credits as one of the two key ingredients for the bread. The other, she explains, is the grain.

“Teff is a very small grain grown in the plateaus of Central Ethiopia by smallholder farmers,” she told me. “The people are very much connected to it — we’ve had this grain since before anyone can remember. And nutritionally, it doesn’t make people feel bloated, it gives them strength.” Ethiopia doesn’t export much teff, so Tefferi sources her grain from farmers in the US Midwest who, like Harold Wilken, are looking to diversify their rotations.

“It’s grain and water at the end of the day,” she says, “but it’s the starter and the person making the injera that make it come alive.” In the cultural tradition of gursha, Tefferi explains, Ethiopians feed each other by hand with carefully rolled pieces of injera.

“It’s not just bread,” she says. “It’s an endearment. It’s love.”

Cafe Colucci, Oakland, CA – Photos by Frederica Armstrong/YES! Magazine


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