Community leaders guiding others, bringing a sense of hope during these challenging times.

Kaya and Kevin Stanley
Kaya and Kevin Stanley

By Heidi Bethel

When the house musician who is also an ICU nurse inside the COVID-19 sector in an area hospital told Kaya and Kevin Stanley, owners of Old Granite Street Eatery and Rue Bourbon in Reno, that they were not stopping to eat during their shifts, they had an immediate question: “Can we bring you food?”

The pair quickly jumped into action bringing a hot meal to everyone working tirelessly that shift to treat coronavirus patients. This is where Feed Our Heroes was formed.

Fast forward eight weeks and a collaboration with Rounds 4 Heroes (another meals for healthcare workers effort by Dr. James Lynch with SpineNevada in Reno) resulted in over 26,000 meals delivered to local hospitals and testing centers; nearly 1,600 complimentary meals for first responders; and, donations to over 1,000 families of essential workers receiving childcare from Boys & Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.

“When we started this, we had no idea it would grow to be so big but we knew we had to make a difference,” Kaya explains. “Even in the beginning, we were blown away by the support and monetary donations from the community. In total, we raised over $200,000 and all of that went back to area restaurants and businesses that helped in the effort.”

It takes a village. With the inception of Feed Our Heroes, the Stanleys made a truly selfless choice that I admire greatly. When faced with keeping the proceeds for themselves and their businesses, they decided it was best to also help fellow restaurateurs.

We were able to be part of a movement to help them so much and it was really an honor.

“Independently owned restaurants have been some of the hardest hit businesses through all of this,” Kaya adds. “We were able to be part of a movement to help them so much and it was really an honor.”

Feed Our Heroes paid $10 for each meal delivered and helped dozens of area eateries. The couple hopes the ripple effect meant food on the tables for the restaurant workers and their families.

“Looking back, we wouldn’t change a thing. And, during times of need, we know now that if we focus on the need and how we can fill it, it will get us through those times, too,” she says.

For more information or to donate, visit feedourheroes.com.