After devastating storms hit Iowa recently. a restaurant owner is supplying hundreds of free meals for his community in an amazing act of kindness.
A powerful derecho pounded the Midwest last Monday, leaving a trail of damaged homes and millions in darkness in Iowa and Illinois.
Barbeque restaurant owner Willie Fairley used his grill at Willie Ray’s Q Shack to provide his neighbors with at least 400 meals daily at no cost. “It’s terrible right now. You got a lot of people still without power,” Fairley said. “We’re just trying to do what we can as a company to make sure we did our part. Because if it was me home with nothing. I would want someone to at least be able to provide something for me.”
The city of Cedar Rapids faced the brunt of it as more than 800 residential and commercial buildings witnessed the full or partial collapse of the roof, walls, ceiling or floors, according to Cedar Rapids Fire Chief Greg Smith and 50 people were hospitalized with storm-related injuries around Cedar Rapids, according to the police department.
His restaurant has provided about 1000 free grilled meals to the community, including ribs, chicken, burgers and hot dogs, Fairley said and has also offered at least 15 catering jobs, but the business declined. “Money will come but people are in need right now,” said Fairley.
Please take a moment to donate to Willie Ray's Q Shack! VENMO: WilleRaysQShack
The owner has been donating meals to entire communities throughout Cedar Rapids including those left homeless by derecho, volunteers, and lineman workers.
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“The main reason we’re doing it free is because there’s been a lot of people donate to us to help us keep feeding people. So, we figure we’ll just do it to make sure everybody gets something.”
Fairley has become a local hero with a lot of people praising him on social media and he has also been nominated for Willie Ray’s Q Shack for the Discover Eat It Forward program, a contest awarding $25,000 to Black-owned restaurants.
He wants to continue to serve his community free food as long as there are funds and also aims to feed a homeless shelter once a week after the current situation eases.