COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Kikker's Bar & Grill in Council Bluffs had to shut down last month due to COVID-19.
"We had to close down on St. Patty's Day, and so we had all this corn beef and cabbage the next day," said manager Cindy Collins. "So my sister said, 'Why don't you heat it up and put it outside and give it to whoever would like it?' So we did that, and we got such a response and such a need for it, so I said, 'Well let's keep doing it,' and she thought it was a great idea because we had to use up our food product that we had here."
While their bar was closed, they opened their arms to those in need, giving away the food they had originally hoped to make a profit with.
"When we first had to close down, we had probably like 15 dozen eggs we had to get rid of and so on and so forth, so we made all these food packs, and we gave it away to people."
For weeks, they've been feeding anyone who shows up for free - almost one hundred meals a day.
"We make a big bulk of chicken and dumplings or goulash or soup and salad, and then people pull up, we find out how many they need, and take out how many containers to their vehicle.," Collins said. "Some take it to their elderly neighbors, some take it to their mom and dad, or they take it to people who can't get out of their apartments."
The kindness spread with people returning the favor.
"We have some people who donate $20 every time they come, and some people donate fifty cents," Collins said. "I had a little guy who had a little sandwich baggy full of change and brought that in. So everybody wants to feel needed and feel like they're helping during this time."
Collins said one woman grabs ten meals on every visit to distribute to her neighbors.
"She takes them to somebody down the street from her, an elderly couple. And that's what it's about, because they can help others by doing this too."
Now, they're able to continue their daily free meal service from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. through the generosity of others.
And since most of the staff is on call for now, Collins says most of them have been volunteering, helping to cook and distribute the meals.
"We didn't realize the need that's out there for something like this. I've had people message me saying, 'Can you please - is there any way you can bring me food? We're locked in our apartment, or I just had a heart attack, or I've been sick, and I can't leave my home, and I can't go out and get groceries.' My son, Marcus, is actually my runner. He gets off work, and I call him and I'm like, 'Can you come down here and deliver some food for me?' And he's been great about doing that."
Beyond their free meals, Kikker's is now open again for to-go orders with a limited menu you can find on their Facebook page.
So if you can, sop by.
"Anything helps. Even a dollar," Collins said. "If someone wants to come and have a meal, and give me a quarter, you'd be surprised what we can do with a quarter."
Kikker's Bar and Grill
LOCATION:1503 Avenue C. Council Bluffs, IA 51501
ADJUSTED SERVICES: To-go, Free meals
HOURS: Free meals: Monday - Friday: 4:30-6:30PMTo-go: Monday - Friday: 12PM - 7PM