WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Bridging the gap between local restaurants and residents in need of a meal is the mission of a Luzerne County-based nonprofit.

Since 2021 Fork Over Love has distributed more than 50,000 meals and reinvested more than $500,000 into the local restaurant community. It’s gearing up to host a special week-long fundraiser in partnership with more than 50 local restaurants.

Circles on the Square in downtown Wilkes-Barre has a new sandwich on the menu and it’s called the “give a fork.”

“It’s gonna be our teriyaki chicken on pumpernickel with Carolina slaw, mayo, cranberry preserves, bacon, and roasted pineapple and we’re gonna feature that every day next week,” said Brenda Sokolowski, owner of Circles on the Square.

The name is symbolic of participation in Restaurant Week, a fundraiser hosted by Fork Over Love. The nonprofit was founded during the pandemic as a way to support struggling businesses and help fight food insecurity.

Next week, Circles is donating all proceeds from sales of the sandwich to Fork Over Love.

It’s one of the dozens of local restaurants taking part in the fundraiser that helps the organization carry out its critical mission.

“They came to us during the pandemic when we were down, we had our hours cut, there was nobody in town, and it just gave us a lift and it helped us get through that tough spot,” explained Sokolowski.

Fork Over Love pays local restaurants to prepare meals that are then given out for free at community distributions. The need for food assistance in Luzerne County has grown since the pandemic.

“It is a giant circle, and helping the community understand how we can nourish our economy and our people at the same time I think is really priceless,” stated Tracy Selingo, founder & CEO of Fork Over Love

The inaugural Fork Over Love Restaurant Week fundraiser is happening October 8-14.
You can find a full list of participating restaurants on the Fork Over Love’s website.