Fork Over Love Dishes Out Much-Needed Help for Community and Local Restaurants
The organization’s practical fundraising approach combines curbing hunger with providing financial support to local restaurants.
Yesterday, we caught up with the good folks from Fork Over Love as they set up for their second warm meal distribution event in West Pittston. The relatively new NEPA nonprofit has taken to 2021 with a mission to help feed our community. And, for good measure, they’re also delivering much-needed financial support to local restaurants.
These days, a lot of people in our community are struggling to make ends meet. They are finding it more and more difficult to feed themselves and their families. At the same time, many local, independent restaurants in our region continue to battle through devastating capacity restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fork Over Love Founder, Tracey Selingo, recalls the burning question that led to the nonprofit’s creation. “It was bouncing around in my mind for quite some time – How can so many restaurants be struggling and so many people be hungry?” She continued, “It seemed crazy to me that something couldn’t be done to bridge the gap.” For Selingo, once she had the logistics figured out and a team of like-minded local women behind the idea, Fork Over Love had taken off.
“Helping our restaurants, feeding our neighbors.”
Fork Over Love was created and incorporated in December of 2020. By February 3, 2021, they had gathered an army of volunteers in the parking lot at West Pittston’s Corpus Cristi Parish. Selingo and her team distributed 300 hot meals to individuals and families in need that day. And, when the dust settled on their successful inaugural event, they had also delivered $3,000 to the local restaurants that provided those hot meals – Pazzo, Marianacci’s and Valenti’s.
And they did it all again yesterday. In addition to Corpus Christi Parish, they added a second distribution at the Building Blocks Learning Center on Route 315 in Wilkes-Barre. The team dished out 800 meals during Wednesday’s events. Participating restaurants included Agolino’s, Marianacci’s, Valenti’s, Cork Bar and Restaurant and The Café.
For Selingo, feeding our neighbors in need is crucial, but it’s only a first step. She and her team are hoping that Fork Over Love’s efforts can accomplish so much more. “We’re hoping that, by opening the doors to everyone, people can safely emerge from isolation and see that they’re not so alone – everyone can find comfort in a hot meal,” she says.
Local restaurants nourish every nook and cranny of the community. They employ and nourish so many residents, they support local suppliers, they infuse our community with culture, and they move our economy forward. If we can support them through this crisis by purchasing dinners to feed their neighbors we are literally investing in our future and caring for our people in a way that helps everyone move forward with dignity.
Tracey Selingo, Founder, Fork Over Love
Here’s How The Whole Thing Works
$10 buys one hot meal for a neighbor in need.
— Fork Over Love solicits and collects monetary donations from individuals, local businesses, civic groups, etc.
— With 100% of the donations, they order fully-prepared and packaged meals from participating restaurant partners.
— They team up with local businesses, nonprofits, restaurants and churches willing to serve as host locations for the distribution event.
— They then set a date for the distribution event and begin accepting meal reservations from the community on their website, by phone or text.
— Meals are free. Reservations are recommended, but not mandatory.
— On distribution day, participating restaurants deliver hot meals to the location, and the Fork Over Love team, along with volunteers, greet and hand out meals to the community.
— Volunteers are always welcome to help out on distribution day.
Step Up. Get Involved. Pay it Forward.
Host a Distribution Event
Hosting a Fork Over Love meal distribution event is simple and rewarding. If your organization has the space, and you’re interested in giving back to your community, fill out an application.
Become a Restaurant Partner
Your team has the talent and the experience. And by becoming a Fork Over Love restaurant partner, you can use those resources to feed your neighbors in need and help bring the community together.
Fork Over Love uses 100% of your donations to purchase dinners from local participating restaurants. Technically, your donation fills a plate for a neighbor in need and directly benefits a local restaurant. Make a “One-Time” donation, or set up a weekly or monthly donation plan.
Fork Over Love is a 100% volunteer organization. If you believe in their mission and have the time, energy and willingness to help, you’re halfway there. All you need to do is fill out a volunteer application.
Join Fork Over Love at these upcoming community takeout dinner events:
Thursday, February 18 from 5-6 p.m.
Cross Valley Federal Credit Union
640 Baltimore Drive
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Wednesday, February 24 from 5-6 p.m.
St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church
226 Washington St.
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701