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Habitat for Neighborhood Business Supports Community Wellness Through Hot Meals Program

Habitat for Neighborhood Business, a St. Louis entrepreneurship incubator that works in conjunction with the Chaifetz School of Business, has created a program to provide members of the St. Louis community with hot meals. The Hot Meals program, like the organization’s earlier Family Dinner Program, was created to provide nutritious meals to individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

HNB businesses provide catering to boost community wellness.

As part of the Hot Meals Program, Bryan Young's Catering, an HNB-sponsored business, provided hot meals for the children of Annie Malone Children and Family Services. Photo provided by Annie Malone Children and Family Services.

For Habitat for Neighborhood Business (HNB), providing good food for St. Louisans is a community undertaking. The organization, which supports St. Louis businesses, including a number of local restaurants, developed a creative program to bolster its entrepreneurs and provide food for St. Louisans in need during the pandemic. 

“There are two components to the Hot Meals Program,” said Gladys Smith, Ph.D., HNB Program Coordinator at Saint Louis University. “Each HNB business owner received coupons for meals from two HNB-sponsored restaurants, Joe-Jo's Fish & Chicken and Samplings by Ms Deb, which are preparing hot meals for our entrepreneurs.” The entrepreneurs were able to visit either establishment at any time and exchange one coupon for a hot meal. 

Smith said the entrepreneurs received enough coupons to share with their families, communities and others they thought could benefit from a good meal. 

For the program’s second component, Bryan Young's Catering Kitchen, an HNB-sponsored catering business, is providing meals for Annie Malone Children and Family Services, a multi-service center that addresses “social and education needs of children and families in crisis and at-risk throughout St. Louis,” according to the center’s website. 

“We reached out to Bryan and asked him to prepare meals for the center,” Smith said. Young, a highly skilled chef with over 25 years of experience, has been catering for the center since June, and plans to continue providing meals through August. 

Young's catering has been a big hit with the children at Annie Malone. "Providing home-cooked meals is a critical component of our treatment modal,"  said Sara Lahman, CEO of Annie Malone Children and Family Services. "Many of our children come from homes where food is scarce. Thank you so much to HNB-SLU for providing our children with your delicious meals cooked with love.”

Like HNB's highly successful Family Dinner Program that supplied hundreds of families with food in the pandemic's early stages this spring, the Hot Meals Program has uplifted St. Louisans and provided  good food and community to those who need a little extra help during these challenging times. As the pandemic continues to present economic challenges throughout the St. Louis area and beyond, Habitat for Neighborhood Business remains a crucial organization dedicated to the growth and wellbeing of the St. Louis community. 

Want to support the critical mission of Habitat for Neighborhood Business? Donations, which have provided funding for the Hot Meals Program, are still being accepted through HNB’s website.