Leesburg attorney Peter Burnett, who recently launched a little free food pantry on Edwards Ferry Road, wanted to take his project a step further to help community members who are feeling the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
So he thought, "Why not provide as many free prepared lunches as he can to help those in need?"
Seven days a week, the Ampersand Pantry Project will give out 50 to 100 lunches from a takeout window starting at 11:30 a.m. The window is located in the former Tastee Freeze building at 338 E Market St. in Leesburg, across from McDonald's.
Burnett partnered with several local restaurants and caterers to kick-off the project on Thursday.
“We have commitments from a number of local restaurants who are still open. What we have proposed is we raise money and pay the restaurant their food costs, and they produce lunches each day,” Burnett said.
Leesburg resident Kimberely Evans, owner of Generations Gourmet catering, has signed up to join the effort.
“Our plan is to support this mission by giving absolutely everything we can to help this community. There are so many people in need, and many of us are wondering how we can help. A call with Peter motivated me to go beyond the pantry delivery. He touched my heart!,” Evans said.
Other business partners include South Street Under, Jasmine's, Spanky's, Lowry's Crab Shack and Solo Pizza, which provided the sandwiches on Thursday.
“This is to fulfill an immediate need for those that need assistance. There will be a quality sandwich, a piece of fruit and maybe a cookie or sweet and a drink. Something that's good for the body. This is just one more way to get food to people,” Burnett said.
Burnett is looking for support to keep the project going as long as possible. There is a donation box at the Ampersand Pantry building on East Market Street. Checks can also sent to The Ampersand Pantry Project, a 501(c)(3) charity, at 105 Loudoun St., SE, Leesburg, VA 20175.