(CNN) — It’s no secret that the coronavirus has many people out of work, so a small mom and pop restaurant decided money was no object when it comes to receiving a hot meal.
Cliff “Cooks” restaurant in Barneveld, Wisconsin, a rural town 30 minutes from Madison, took prices off its menu in order to help those in their community struggling to make ends meet.
“There’s no money — there are people that are not sure where their next meal is coming from and they don’t have money to buy food, and it seemed like a simple solution,” restaurant owner Clifford Hooks told CNN.
A few weeks ago, the restaurant started dissolving its LLC and changed its name to Barneveld Community Cafe UA, in order to accept donations and give out meals for free.
They never ask for donations, they just hand out the food, and if someone wants to donate they accept it. Any money they receive goes right back in to making food, and paying for other needs their customers have.
“Are you serious?” “How can you do this?” “This is crazy!” are just a few of the responses Hooks said he and his wife have gotten when customers come to get their carry-out or drive thru orders.
“There are people we have given gas money to as well as meals, and they are overwhelmed that someone actually cares,” Hooks said.
The idea came from Hooks’ wife, Yvonne Hooks, who has a heart for giving back.
After social distancing was enforced, the Hookses lost all their staff, so Yvonne came in to help her husband and thought there was a way they could meet a need in the community.
They are volunteering 100% of their time and resources to make this endeavor possible. Yvonne takes the calls and places the orders, and Clifford cooks.
“I wanted people to be able to come in and get their meal … and get their receipt and hear someone say, ‘Have a nice day!'” Yvonne Hooks said.
“There is so much food insecurity … especially in rural communities,” she said. “When I grew up, your neighbor helped your neighbor, we helped each other.”
The Hookses’ restaurant may not be the only one trying to help people these days, but the couple says they’re proud to be helping their part of the world.
Eventually, they said they hope the restaurant will become a full non-profit so they can continue to help their community.