KEARNEY — Two Kearney businesses are teaming up to provide meals for the Kearney community, which should allow the community to be “Alone Together” as social distancing measures continue.
At Wednesday’s Drive Up and Feed Kearney event, Bison Bullion and Alley Rose hope to give away 500 meals. The meals are free to anyone, but those who are able to pay may give a donation, which will go toward future meals.
“If you need it, if you want it, we are providing it for you,” said Jeanene Bergstrom, who owns Kearney Coin Center and heads production for Bison Bullion with her husband, Bjorn.
The Bergstroms formed the project after a New York City customer sparked the idea through a similar program. The customer owns a small franchise of pizza restaurants and started a “Buy a pie, ive a pie, we match a pie” promotion.
“We thought, hey, we can do something similar,” Bjorn said. “Silver bullion is in high demand right now and we thought, ‘Hey, I bet we can give back to our local community in the same way.’”
They decided to make 10-troy ounce silver bars branded with “#Alone Together.” When someone buys a bar, $10 of the price goes toward the Drive Up and Feed Kearney event, plus the $10 that Bison Bullion will match.
The goal is to sell 1,000 of these silver bars, which would raise a total of $20,000, with $10,000 from customers and $10,000 matched by Bison Bullion.
As of Thursday, Bjorn said that about 160 bars have been sold, which equals about $3,200 raised. This should be enough to fund the first night with some money left over for the following weeks’ meals.
Thinking of who would provide the meals, the Bergstroms only had to look across Central Avenue to the Alley Rose.
“Knowing the owner Shawn Engberg like we do, we knew he would be excited to participate,” Bjorn said.
“The Kearney community has taken care of us for years,” Engberg said. “Anytime we get an opportunity to give back, we usually jump on it.”
Engberg plans to provide the community with meals that are the quality customers expect from Alley Rose by using the same high-quality ingredients. Using good, healthy ingredients should also ensure kids, who maybe aren’t getting the nutrition they need, get some “good food.”
The meals can be eaten right away, or taken home and warmed up later. Wednesday’s dish will be chicken marsala.
“We want to provide good food for folks to take home and provide some normalcy to their dinner table,” Engberg said.
Though the meals will be free to anyone, Engberg said he hopes that some of his customers who have the means to pay for the food would make a donation.
These donations, in addition to the money raised through the #AloneTogether silver bars, should ensure that the meals can continue on Wednesdays throughout the pandemic.
“Hopefully, it’s going to be perpetual,” he said. “And we can perpetuate these meals on Wednesday until the COVID is over.”