The third biannual "JOMO Restaurant Week" has came to an end, producing big results.
Monday morning, 22 restaurants pulled in trucks and carts full of food donations collected during the week to Crosslines Ministries, the recipient of the food donations. After weighing every cart-full and box of food, it was determined the past week's event raised 6,000 pounds of food.
"Last time we ran this event we had 3,600 pounds of food come in to the pantry so we're looking for two tons today. We were hoping to go over two tons of food donation," Assistant Director of Crosslines, Rikki Smith said.
Crosslines easily beat their goal.
"Our pantry shelves will be stocked for a long time, we're really looking forward to being able to work through the donations and get them in the pantry so we can get them out to the community," Smith said.
One of the restaurant owners contributing donations is Melodee Colbert-Kean, former mayor of Joplin. Colbert-Kean now is a co-owner of ME's Place Soul Food Cafe. Being a contributor of donations lets Colbert-Kean come full-circle.
"I told people and I never get tired of telling people this, I remember when I was a recipient of Crosslines, and so I am always happy to give back and help support them and anything they need, I'm always there to help with it," Colbert-Kean said.
Colbert-Kean was on the receiving end of Crosslines food donations years ago, when she was a single mother.
"Need doesn't have a season. You don't just need food in Thanksgiving and Christmastime, you need food year-round. People are coming through those doors year-round. And you want to be able to give them something when they come and they need that," Colbert-Kean said.
She revealed her restaurants secret to Restaurant Week success: gooey cake.
"If you haven't tried our gooey cake, you need to come try our gooey cake. But the people who did know about it, were like okay we're bringing in cans and cans because we want that gooey cake. It's real sweet it's a St. Louis dish, but we put our own spin on it, our own Joplin spin, and it's a hit. We went through probably six pans of it," Colbert-Kean said.
After weighing all the pounds of food, Crosslines officials jokingly asked if all participating restaurants would return to the event in August. The question was met with a resounding "yes".
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