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Generosity is Spread-a-BULL

Estimated Read Time:
5 min

The people and organizations spreading generosity in Durham

Posted By Natalie Minott on Nov 25, 2020

When we give, the effects of our giving go far beyond what we could ever fathom. From individuals to restaurants, many people in Durham are consistently giving their time, skills, and resources.

In celebration of Giving Tuesday — an annual day of generosity of all kinds celebrated around the world — we wanted to highlight people in our community who are spreading generosity like confetti.

Here’s a list of local restaurants with food that tastes good and does good.

Beer Study

Beer Study has a large selection of beer on tap with outdoor seating in covered tents. They started crowler charity months where they donate $2 per select crowler to a cause.

For the month of November, they donated to the Durham Crisis Response Center. “The Durham Crisis Response Center works with the community to end domestic and sexual violence through advocacy, education, support, and prevention.” For the month of December, they will be donating to Communities In Schools, an organization that "champions the use of evidence-based programs to help youth stay in school, graduate on time, and succeed in life." So, buy a crowler and support a good cause at the same time…it’s definitely a win win.

Big C Waffles

Big C Waffles, a soul food restaurant specializing in gourmet waffles which opened in 2014, has a mission to impact peoples’ lives in a positive way with waffles. Now, the restaurant is impacting and completely changing lives “one waffle at a time” with their new organization Big C Waffles Cares.

Big C Waffles Cares started organically in response to the pandemic and donations help pay for the food and labor costs needed to serve those that have been affected by COVID-19. Want to be a part of caring for the community with Big C Waffles Cares? Order those fried chicken and waffles, wash it down with their new kool-aid, and make a donation.

Beyú Caffè

Beyú Caffè was founded in 2009 by Dorian Bolden to be the ultimate community gathering place where everyone could “be you.” Located in the heart of downtown Durham, Beyú provides a warm community atmosphere with great food, a full bar and amazing specialty coffees.

Beyú Group, Inc. which consists of Beyú Caffè, Beyú Blue Coffee, and Beyú Catering, created FEED DURM, a program designed to achieve the dual goals of driving community food security and supporting local restaurant businesses and their employees in response to the COVID-19 crisis. You can support FEED DURM by making a donation or becoming a community partner.

Chicken Hut

Chicken Hut is proud to be the second oldest continually operating restaurant in Durham. They serve delicious home-cooked meals like fried chicken, oxtails, and baked macaroni and cheese.

Earlier this year when schools and businesses closed because of COVID-19, the good folks at Chicken Hut decided that no kid should go hungry. The restaurant stepped up to provide free weekday meals for children 18 and younger. Make sure to stop by and order some lunch or contact them for your catering needs, because you will be supporting a business that supports the community.


When Copa, a restaurant with Cuban-inspired plates and tapas, was forced to close their dining rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they got to work finding new ways to feed people.

Copa chef, Roberto Copa Matos, and his team realized that they could support local farms by both buying from them and investing in their infrastructure, so their local food supply chain would be stronger and better. They also realized that they could make a significant impact on hunger in the community, while keeping the team employed, if they could raise enough money to feed 50 people at a time six days a week.

All the pieces came together and 50 Meals a Day was born. They buy ingredients from local farms to make meals to feed hungry people—and they pay their team a living wage to do it in their kitchen. On top of that, they are setting aside $1 per meal, or $50 per delivery to invest in the infrastructure of small farms and help them strengthen their productivity! They definitely need your help. Order a meal from Copa, spread the word, and donate directly to 50 Meals Day to help them feed the community.

Eastcut Sandwich Bar

Birthed in July 2017 by co-founders Brad Bankos and Steve Wuench, Eastcut Sandwhich Bar resides on Old Chapel Hill Road. They have a menu full of classic sandwiches and sides, and their culinary goal is to provide chef-driven, homemade food at a good value.

Eastcut Sandwhich Bar created the Sandwich Utopia Pledge to organize community support and hold themselves accountable to giving back. Each year, they have committed to use their platform to raise and donate the equivalent of 1% of their annual revenue to local non-profit partners that focus on food insecurity, education and entrepreneurship, and the environment. Hungry for change? Then place an order with Eastcut Sandwich Bar and be a part of giving back.


When the pandemic hit earlier this year, Sean Umstead and Michelle Vanderwalker, the owners of Kingfisher, a craft cocktail bar, turned their parking lot into an outdoor burger bar and called it QueenBurger.

QueenBurger partnered with we are (working to extend anti-racist education), an anti-racist education organization based in Durham, because they want to create a safe and inspiring community where everyone is welcome. QueenBurger donates 15% of all profits to we are, so the next time you bite into their classic burger, which includes griddled onions, hoop cheese, and pickles, know that you contributing to something bigger.

Zweli's Kitchen

It is obvious that Zweli’s owners Zweli and Leonardo Williams both love this community. Earlier this year, Zweli's, the first authentic Zimbabwean restaurant in the U.S., collected donations of food, clothing, and school supplies in support of the 300 plus residents evacuated from McDougald Terrace over carbon monoxide concerns.

Zweli’s also stepped up and gave out free food to encourage people to vote, and for Thanksgiving, they partnered with we are (working to extend anti-racist education), to feed over 500 families in Durham.

Furthermore, they helped start Activate Durham which provides goods, networking opportunities and resources to the community. Follow Zweli's to see what they are up to, stop by for some samosas and plantain and more Zimbabwean food, and support them as they continue to support so many others.

Check out these initiatives where Durham citizens and organizations have mobilized to collectively carry out projects aimed at providing public goods and services to the community.

Addyson’s Snack Bags

Eleven-year-old Addyson Hamer saw a need in the community and took action. She has been making snack bags for the homeless people who are around the Urban Ministries of Durham. So far, she has passed out over 1,000 bags, and she is raising money to continue giving food (and hopefully socks and scarves for the winter) to those who are going through hard times. You can take action with Addyson and donate to her campaign.

Durham Free Lunch Initiative

Durham Free Lunch Initiative was formed as a response to the COVID-19 crisis by rising high school senior Elijah King. While food insecurity has always concerned King, he saw the pandemic as an opportunity to step up and help feed his community. King partnered with Grant Ruhlman, owner of Homebucha Kombucha, George O'Neil, owner of Lil Farm, and Andy Magowan, owner of Geer Street Garden, to form the initiative.

The Durham Free Lunch Initiative’s goal is to provide a healthy and accessible meal to Durham students, the housing-insecure population, workers who have been laid off due to COVID-19, and anyone who is in need. Their funds run out at the end of December, so you can help launch them into 2021 by volunteering (safely), donating to their campaign or becoming a sustainer. You can also text “FREELUNCH” to 44-321 to donate.

Mustard Seed Project

In 2019, Marcella Thompson started the Mustard Seed Project in her southeast Durham community to mentor and feed kids. Many of the families she helps are lead by single mothers and are lacking the money needed to make ends meet. This year, with the pandemic, she's been hard at work shopping, cooking, and packing food from her house.

You can help Marcella and the Mustard Seed Project by making a donation. Donations go towards food, clothing, and hygiene products for kids. She also hopes to start a tutoring center complete with computers.

Northstar Artist Relief Fund

The widespread cancellation of concerts and events has a disproportionate impact on the Durham arts community — especially those who rely on gigs to pay their bills. Musicians, DJ’s, dancers, visual artists, arts presenters, actors, filmmakers, spoken word artists, comedians, teaching artists—all of these people's jobs rely on people showing up and being able to access their work.

Want to donate to the fund? Funds donated go directly to artists and arts presenters in Durham who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists.

Tall Grass Food Box

Tall Grass Food Box began as a response to the coronavirus pandemic by Gabrielle E. W. Carter, Gerald C. Harris, and Derrick Beasley. It's a platform to support and encourage the sustainability of Black farmers by increasing their visibility and securing space for them in the local marketplace.

Ready to join the movement to support Black farmers? Order a box of fresh produce harvested the week of pickup and make a donation.

To all the individuals and restaurants listed, and all the incredible people not mentioned spreading generosity, thank you for giving and making Durham a better place.

About the Author

Natalie Minott - Content Marketing Manager

A mother and writer who loves celebrating people and telling their stories. Find me rocking colorful headwraps, singing Disney songs, and drinking too much coffee.