Local restaurants are feeling the strain of COVID-19 more every day, but they’re also finding ways to adapt. Fowl and Fodder’s downtown location, though temporarily closed, is the home base for the Toledo staple’s new 4-1-DINE Market, a store that offers essential items from milk and eggs to cleaning products and— yes— toilet paper.
The restaurant’s co-owner, Alicia Wagner, says that Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay at home order has had a particularly hard impact on downtown eateries. “A lot of people were still willing to support the restaurants where they live, but not where they work,” says Wagner. “And that’s not intentional; it’s just kind of how it happens. It just really impacted our sales and wasn’t worth it for us to stay open full-time.”
Along with their regular vendors, Fowl and Fodder has quite a list of items to shop from on their website. You’ll find a variety of meal kits (raise your hand if you’re tired of cooking), Marsha’s candy buckeyes, Toft’s dairy products, Maddie & Bella coffee, produce from Balance Farms, and Wagner plans to add even more items for customers to shop soon.
Here’s the kicker— you’ll also find ways of giving back to the community on the Market’s website.
There are so many nonprofits that have been doing great work, but now they’re overextended,” says Wagner. “So I really wanted to do something that would not just help our customers but also help our community.”
That something is the 4-1-DINE Community Care Fund in partnership with Mosaic Ministries. Shoppers on the Market’s website will see a place to make a donation of a delivery fee (it’s $4.19 and includes a 15-mile radius from the restaurant) and funds for groceries or meals. You can also go straight to Mosaic’s page to donate as well.
“I’m proud to say that half of the revenue coming in for the Market right now is donations,” Wagner says. “And that’s a beautiful thing, right?”
In keeping with the 419 Day theme, The Community Care Fund’s goal is to raise $41,900 by Sunday, April 19. So far they’ve raised over $24,000, funds that help Mosaic feed and provide essential supplies to those living in poverty. It includes family-style meals from Fowl and Fodder— along with Manhattan’s and The Adams Street Cafe— and it helps cover deliveries to seniors and at-risk individuals who are currently stuck at home.
“There’ve been so many people that have supported us over the years that, while it would be easy for all of us to internalize what’s going on,” says Wagner, “I really feel all of us in the community can look outwards and help each other through this. That’s just how we’re going to continue to be Toledo strong.”