A Hometown Favorite Becomes a Member in Food Rescue

Ross'LogoIf you’re a Quad Citian, you likely have at least heard of Ross’ Restaurant and their Magic Mountain, so we are thrilled to announce the iconic establishment as an official Member in Food Rescue.

The 24-hour restaurant has been in the Quad Cities since 1938, and their relationship with food rescue began about 15 years ago when Melissa Freidhof-Rodgers, granddaughter to the restaurant’s founder, came back to the Quad Cities to become general manager. She noticed an opportunity with one ingredient in particular restaurant’s ground beef. First of all, they had a ton of it. And while much of it was able to get repurposed for other dishes like chili, much was still getting wasted.

Freidhof-Rodgers knew there had to be someone that could benefit from the excess meat so she called around to various hunger relief agencies throughout the Quad Cities until she made a connection with Cafe on Vine in Davenport and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fifteen years later, Ross’ still makes regular donations to Cafe on Vine which primarily consist of five-gallon buckets of ground beef. Occasionally donations will include soup, other proteins, and a definite crowd pleaser, the giant cinnamon rolls.

Aside from regular donations, their 2015 move from near the I-74 Bridge to Falcon Avenue resulted in more food donations than normal by clearing out all their products and in particular, ingredients that would no longer be part of menu items. They even made equipment donations as well.

RossMember
From left to right: Billie Hornbeak (Ross’ Kitchen Staff), Emmanual Garcia (Ross’ Kitchen Staff, Melissa Freidhof-Rodgers (Ross’ General Manager), Pete Vogel (FRP Board Chair)

In talking with Freidhof-Rodgers, it’s easy to see why Ross’ has continued to build this relationship with Cafe on Vine for so long. Like many we have come across, she believes in food rescue, not for recognition but because it just makes sense. “Small acts for people really help build a community,” she says. Volunteer and community-building were topics she brought up multiple times.

She also emphasizes that having her staff support their food rescue efforts is crucial. Many at Ross’ are involved in the food donations by preparing and transporting the food to Café on Vine.

Congratulations to the Ross’ Restaurant staff. Thank you for the food rescue you have done and will continue to do.

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