SAINT PAUL, Minn. — A lot has changed in the Twin Cities in the course of a week.
The death of George Floyd while in police custody created a ripple effect of pain, anger, and frustration. In Saint Paul, the protests, demonstrations, even the rioting, just cemented the need for hope and the work at Hope Breakfast Bar.
On Sunday, the staff at the Saint Paul "purpose-driven restaurant" posted a message on Facebook that it was one of the worst and best days of their lives.
The message outlined that the staff fed everyone from the Minnesota National Guard and members of the CDC to Civil Rights groups, and demonstrators for #BlackLivesMatter.
What's amazing is that the food was absolutely free.
This part of the post says it all: "We are called to serve. We are called to feed our community. We are called to feed the people. Today and every day we will continue to Give Hope."
A few weeks ago, KARE 11 interviewed the owner of Hope Breakfast Bar. Since the pandemic closed dine-in restaurants, Brian Ingram turned his business into a community kitchen feeding tens of thousands of people a week - for free.
"It was everything from 'I'm in the red van living in my car at the first Baptist church in Saint Paul' to soccer moms that started calling in looking for food," said Ingram.
The effort isn't cheap by any means. The restaurant spent a couple hundred thousand dollars of its own money; a lot of donations came in too.
"Everything from food being donated to folks donating ten dollars, twenty dollars, a hundred dollars. So we've been very, very fortunate and very blessed," Ingram explained.
It may sound cliche, but Ingram holds out hope that his "Hope" will survive post-pandemic.
"It's so scary right now to think about what the other side of this looks like. Will people feel safe going into restaurants? It's one thing for the government to say you can open back up, it's completely different if people can feel like they can go out and enjoy their time in a restaurant," Ingram said. "It's going to be a whole new world we think on the other side of this."
Ingram plans to keep feeding those in need, that's why he helped create the nonprofit, "Give Hope."
To learn more about Hope Breakfast Bar's efforts, email email@example.com.
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