Fork Over Love partnering with NEPA restaurants to hand out more than 10,000 meals

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LAFLIN, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — We’ve seen many times over during the pandemic, families struggling to put food on the table, and restaurants struggling to stay in business.

A non-profit called, Fork Over Love, was formed earlier this year to help both and has picked up momentum.

For more than a half-year, dozens of restaurants like Callahan’s Café and Coffee House have participated in Fork Over Love. Recently, the effort hit a couple of milestones.

It takes a very large pot full of sauce and 40 pounds of pasta for a dish called Rigatoni Ala Vodka with Meatballs. The man making the meal is Michael Callahan, owner of Callahan’s Cafe and Coffee House in downtown Pittston.

He’s among more than 60 restaurateurs participating in Fork Over Love, a nonprofit whose motto since forming is “helping our restaurants, feeding our neighbors.”

“We have provided 11,000 meals plus to the local community and reinvested $110,000 back into our local restaurant community,” Fork Over Love Board Member Ruth Corcoran explained.

The non-profit raises money to buy restaurant meals for $10 apiece then gives away up to 400 meals weekly to families who might not be able to afford them.

“I could see the need in the people that come through. The restaurant, the restaurants are so close to my heart and the need is so great there,” said Corcoran.

Callahan’s is among them which adapted from a dine-in to a takeout eatery due to the pandemic. The owner has struggled with staff shortages and fewer customers, but committed months ago to participate in Fork Over Love.

“It’s a way for us to have, you know, what I think is a small, built-in catering for times when, you know, business is down and it’s also getting our product out there to help the, you know, to help the community,” stated Callahan.

The Avenue Restaurant and Catering in Wyoming will participate in next week’s distribution by providing half-roasted chicken with penne and vodka sauce.

“It makes you feel good, you know. We’re glad we’re doing it. A lot of my staff volunteers even the day that we are planning it to help boxing stuff, getting things ready because they know it’s going to families that definitely need it,” The Avenue Restaurant and Catering owner Dave Krappa said.

The latest drive-thru distribution is scheduled today from 5-6 p.m. in the St. Maria Goretti parking lot. Callahan’s Café and Coffeehouse in Pittston is one of the restaurant providers for the Laflin event. The Avenue Diner in Wyoming is participating in the Wednesday, August 25th food distribution.

The ongoing Fork Over Love effort will only be as successful as the support it gets. To learn about how your restaurant can feed your neighbors, head to the Fork For Love website.

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