Hovey & Harrison donates 200 loaves of bread, 120 quarts of soup, 15 meals each week during COVID-19 | VailDaily.com
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Hovey & Harrison donates 200 loaves of bread, 120 quarts of soup, 15 meals each week during COVID-19

Armed with 200 loaves of bread, 120 quarts of soup and 15 meals, Hovey & Harrison is working to provide nourishment and service to those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Vail Valley.

The Edwards bakery and restaurant has partnered with the Eagle Valley Community Foundation and the Vail Valley Salvation Army to deliver food each week to some of the community’s most vulnerable members: seniors, veterans, WIC recipients, Early Head Start program members, Vail Resorts Health and Safety employees, those in isolated households and other high-risk groups. The donation program will continue through June 5.

“It’s important just as a human. It’s so instinctual, being human, to want to help,” said co-owner Gretchen Hovey. “This is our platform. Everyone has different means to make a difference and this restaurant is our means.”

“So many of us are asking, ‘how can I help?’ and we wanted to be a resource for those people,” echoed co-owner Molly Harrison in an email.

Hovey and Harrison prepared personalized takeout orders on Wednesday, April 22.
Courtesy Photo

The EVCF’s Community Market and the Salvation Army are coordinating distribution, including doorstep delivery, and the Salvation Army, serving as an onsite distribution location, is providing food to more than 40 people a day as need for food assistance has grown 350% during the pandemic.

But Hovey & Harrison’s commitment to serving the Eagle County community started from the beginning. The bakery donates leftover loaves of bread to the Community Market to help provide fresh food to those who need it while significantly reducing food waste. Each year, the restaurant donates meals and raises about $50,000 for YouthPower365. Hovey & Harrison works to support the Bright Future Foundation, Walking Mountains Science Center, the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and Vail Mountain School as well as other local organizations that champion causes the co-owners are particularly passionate about: women, children and education.

“It sounds a bit ostentatious,” said Hovey, “But from day one this was going to be our platform for doing good in the world. It’s why we source the best quality ingredients. It’s why we pay livable wages. Start to finish, we are using this to do good.”

Hovey & Harrison had been donating bread to the Community Market before the coronavirus pandemic.
Casey Russell | crussell@vaildaily.com

And the fact that the restaurant is donating soup and bread was a very intentional decision. For centuries, soup and bread has served as a symbol of medicine, healing and comfort. Hovey & Harrison uses fresh ingredients always and packs the pot full of nutritious broths, proteins and veggies.

“We know that those who are needing it most right now are getting a nutrient-dense, beautiful meal,” Hovey said.

Hovey & Harrison donates meals and bread to help the community, but it had been doing that long before the pandemic hit.
Rachael Zimmerman | Special to the Daily

The best way for the average individual to help stop the spread of coronavirus is to effectively do nothing. Plenty of experts and news outlets have stated that social distancing and staying home are vital. But Hovey knows how difficult it can be to act on that.

“We can’t sit by and do nothing, it’s not in our nature,” she said.

To provide an outlet for those interested in helping, Hovey & Harrison set up a donation mechanism on its website. Through the online ordering system, customers can donate a loaf of bread, a quart of soup or a whole meal from the comfort of their couch. And Hovey & Harrison knows that its ability to do good for the community is even greater because of its generous and supportive customers.

“We are grateful to have the platform that we do and we wouldn’t be here doing what we do if it weren’t the support of our community,” Hovey said. “I wanted to say thank you. It’s because of our community that we’re able to do what we do.”


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