MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – After a successful launch to the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program on June 1, Owner Stephen Ross and the Miami Dolphins Foundation announced that at least $1 million will go directly to support minority owned restaurants. The year-long commitment has provided 1,000 meals each day prepared by Centerplate and local minority restaurants impacted by COVID-19 to assist those dealing with food insecurity in Miami Gardens and the surrounding communities.
"The African American community has been disproportionately impacted by the effects of the pandemic," said Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins Vice Chairman and CEO. "We wanted to be intentional in supporting minority-owned businesses right here in our backyard, while working to mitigate the growing problem of food insecurity."
Ross and the organization invested $2 million in the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program. The program received a $1 million gift from the Lennar Foundation and is working to raise an additional $1 million from the South Florida community and Miami Dolphins fans worldwide that Ross will match for a potential $5 million total impact. Individuals and businesses that wish to participate in the match program can donate online atdolphins.com/meals.
Quotes from restaurants previously involved in the Food Relief Program
Matari & Ruth Bodie and Lorna Westmoreland, Owners of Lorna's Caribbean & American Grill
"Lorna's Caribbean & American Grill, along with others, has experienced difficult times financially in this pandemic and through the Miami Dolphins Foundation we were able to stay afloat as well as provide meals for the less fortunate in Miami Gardens. We are very appreciative and proud to be a part of this great experience with the Dolphins. Lorna's thanks the Miami Dolphins for this opportunity and for introducing or restaurant to a whole new people. May this organization continue the support of Lorna's Caribbean & American Grill as well as the beautiful city of Miami Gardens. The Dolphins have been so good to a lot of our restaurants in Miami Gardens, not just Lorna's. Making sure we have work on a weekly basis is such a blessing."
Prancetta & Rawn Washington, Owners Arline's Seafood Restaurant
"It has been such an honor to work with the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program because it has allowed us the opportunity to be of service to our community during this tumultuous time. Being a partner with this organization has helped our business tremendously even in the midst of such uncertainty, which is something we will always be grateful for. We would like to express our unprecedented gratitude to the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program for allowing us to be a part of this amazing act of service within our community."
Harry Harrell, Co-owner of Tom Jenkins' Bar-B-Q
"As with most restaurants, it has been extremely difficult to just keep the doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our hardest hit areas of business has been catering due to the fact that large groups can't get together so there have not been many business meetings, family gatherings or picnics for us to cater. The Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program has been a godsend for our business and the community. This program has given us opportunities that just would not exist during times like these. The amazing funding provided by Stephen Ross has allowed so many families to have hot meals that they would not normally be able to afford. This partnership has helped my business to keep my doors open. I'm extremely proud of the Miami Dolphin Organization for being sensitive to the needs of the community and small black businesses like myself. This partnership is truly trendsetting. I have also been a Miami Dolphin fan my whole life and it gives me even greater joy to know that my team cares about black businesses and they prove it by putting their money where their mouth is. Thanks for caring."
Kathy Johnson, Owner of Kathy's Catering and Event Planning
"I am still in disbelief at how this pandemic created such a life changing experience for me and my business. I created this company back in 2008 and prior to COVID-19 I was working a team of 10 staff every day, contracted by schools, providing 350 meals daily to local organizations and catering for radio stations and artists. When the pandemic hit the schools closed, I had no shows to book and no one reached out to small businesses so we were forced to shut down and I was ready to give up and close my doors because I had nothing to offer. Since I began working with the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program, it allowed me to open my heart and reopen my doors to give back to those who have given so much to me. Thanks to Stephen Ross and Tom Garfinkel, I have a job, my staff have jobs and they have helped this minority owned business out of a dark space. This is the best organization, tremendously it has opened the doors for small local business owners. The Miami Dolphins stepped up to a government level to help small business expand and we are very grateful."
Alex Hernandez, Owner of El Exquisito
"Having an opportunity to partner up with the Miami Dolphins is any native Miamian's dream. The Miami Dolphins Food Relief Program was to our business the equivalent of winning a small lottery while at the same time sharing that prize with the rest of the community. This food program helped feed many individuals and was also responsible for bringing back most of my staff which was furloughed due to the heavy toll COVID-19 has caused the restaurant industry. I believe Mr. Ross has provided a lifeline for small businesses like ours. This lifeline extends far beyond the monetary and it brings hope knowing our community cares. Although this might be just a speck in the grand scheme of things, one of these meals might have fed a child whose next meal was nowhere in sight. Please continue giving because this program is necessary. The Miami Dolphins are showing us how big their hearts are for this community. It's also done with class every step of the way. These are two things you can't buy."
Shirleen Ingraham, Owner of Jackson's Soul Food
"Ever since the COVID -19 pandemic, business has been very hard for Jackson's Soul Food. With two locations and one in the airport that was under construction, we had to close our Overtown location temporarily and only operate out of the Opa-Locka location in an attempt to keep all of our employees employed and had to alter hours since our dining room was the bulk of our revenue. Thanks to the Food Relief Program led by the Miami Dolphins Foundation open along with our great customers that come for take-out we have been able to keep our business and our employees while providing and preparing good hearty meals to the community."
Shawn lowers & Danielle Perry, Owners of Reggae Beets Gourmet Food Truck
"We are forever grateful for the amazing opportunity to partner with the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program during these uncertain times of the COVID-19 pandemic Just when things seemed gloomy and helpless for the entire South Florida community, the Miami Dolphins under the steadfast leadership of owner Stephen Ross stepped up in a major way by orchestrating one of the most magnificent community programs in South Florida history. The Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program helped our business tremendously by giving us a much needed boost in revenue but more importantly, it fed thousands of families in need of assistance and we couldn't be more humbled and honored to have been a part of such a major initiative as giving back is a major part of the Reggae Beets Brand. Being lifelong Miami DolFans, we've always rooted for the football team and this community initiative feels like we just won the Super Bowl and Stephen Ross is the MVP (Most Valuable Person). Thanks again for such an amazing opportunity and we are looking forward to working with the organization in the future in various capacities."
Herbert Coleman, COO & Chef of SEED Miami
"From the first day that we heard about the Miami Dolphins Foundation and Mr. Ross's commitment to support small businesses in the community we were very impressed by his kindness and generosity, SEED is so honored and proud to be a part of the Dolphins Food Fleet Program with Truist Bank and the Miami Dolphin Foundation's Food Relief Program. To be able to feed our community during these trying time was more than just a blessing for those we served but also for us and our employees. Partnering with the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Dolphins Foundation allowed us to meet some absolutely amazing community service heroes, i.e. Big Brothers & Big Sisters, 5000 Role Models, the Mavuno Project and the United Way of Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Often times the tireless efforts of community service heroes are overlooked. But partnering with the Miami Dolphins shined a light on the necessity of community service, human kindness and generosity in a time such as this. Thank you Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross and Tom Garfinkel for allowing SEED to be a part of the Dolphins family."
Betty Taylor, owner of Betty's Soul Food Restaurant
"This has been a terrific experience. With everything that has been going on, the Food Relief Program really helped me through COVID and get my business back in order. I wasn't making any money and business became very slow but the orders we received through this program helped me get back on track, gain new customers and keep my business rolling. I thank God for them and anything I could do to help I would do it with no problem. Thank you so very much."
Anthony Barber, CEO of Troy's BarBeQue
"Partnering with the Miami Dolphins has been an opportunity of a lifetime. The opportunity to share in our gift with people that are suffering through an economic crisis has made the workload light and fulfilling for our team. It's one thing to make a donation however to actually be out handing out the food is more rewarding than the pay itself. To see the looks within the eyes means everything to me when handing out the meals and I'm thankful that as a business we are in a position that we can do this and assist the community. So many businesses are closing their doors and I can't stress enough how the reward of being selected has helped us keep people employed but also helped the community at large at the same time. We are very grateful to the Miami Dolphins and the opportunity to teamwork with them and we look forward to other opportunities as well."
Minority Owned Restaurants in Food Relief Program
- Adams Catering
- Arline's Restaurant & Seafood
- Betty's Soulfood Restaurant
- Black Swan Café
- Brothers BBQ
- Captain Jerk Restaurant & Lounge
- Ceasar's Famous Ribs
- Chef Creole
- Chef Holmes Smokin Bones
- Chef Kathy's Catering
- Chef Tally World Famous Jerk Chicken
- Chicken House
- Don Toston
- Dunns River Island Café
- El Exquisito
- Garden of Soulfood
- Groovin' Bean Coffee Bar & Lounge
- Home Style Restaurant
- iSeefood Miami
- I Am Latin Cafe
- Ivory's Take Out
- Jackson Soul Food
- Jacky's Café
- Jerk Cuisine
- Lorna's Caribbean & American Grill
- Lovelys On The Go
- Manger Creole
- Mexico 1810 Restaurant
- Nana's SapiBon Creole Bakery & Restaurant
- Nate's Barbeque Catering
- NoMi Bar And Grill
- Pastime Restaurant
- Pink Sub
- Reggae Beats Food Truck
- Restaurant El Trovador
- Rib Shack
- S & J Catering
- Seed Miami Food Truck
- SHUCKIN AND JIVIN
- Smart Bites To Go
- Smoothie Express
- Strictly Wings
- Sunday's Eatery
- The Licking
- Tom Jenkins BBQ
- Troy's Barbeque
- World Famous House of Mac