WINTER PARK, Fla. - 4 Rivers Smokehouse and The COOP, a neighborhood restaurant in Winter Park, have donated $75,000 to the World Central Kitchen's Hurricane Dorian relief efforts.
World Central Kitchen, a not-for-profit organization that works to provide meals in the wake of natural disasters, was presented the check during a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the 4Rivers Smokehouse in Winter Park.
“The entire 4R family is honored to align with World Central Kitchen to aid in their tireless efforts to help the people of the Bahamas recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian,” said John Rivers, Founder and CEO of the 4R Restaurant Group. “None of this would have been possible without the support of our amazing guests, who share our commitment to community and helping those in need.”
The funds donated reportedly came from a September charity drive that included all 4 Rivers Smokehouses in Florida and Winter Park's The COOP. The restaurants broke from their 'closed on Sunday' policy to raise contributions for the island nation.
“Support from donors is what allows us to feed those in need right away,” added Nate Mook, World Central Kitchen Executive Director. “Thanks to 4R Restaurant Group and others, we have been able to cook and deliver over 1.5 million meals in the Bahamas.”
During the ceremony, 4 Rivers announced their ongoing philanthropic initiative, titled the 'Shine A Light' fund. This will add a 1 percent donation to checks at 4 Rivers Smokehouses and The COOP starting on Monday, December 2. The money will go towards feeding people in need due to economic hardship or natural disasters. 4 Rivers and The COOP will match 100 percent of all contributions and donate money to organizations such as the World Central Kitchen, Second Harvest Food Bank, and 4Roots Farm Campus. Guests can opt out of participation if they desire.
“As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, we cannot think of a better time to launch the 4 Rivers "Shine A Light" fund,” added Rivers. “The name was inspired by the scripture Matthew 5:16, in which Jesus challenged believers to shine their light by helping others, an ethos that is also at the core of the 4 Rivers organization.”
Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a devastating Category 5 storm, destroying thousands of homes.
This story was written in Orlando, Florida.