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Food-service establishments rally for fire victims, firefighters

A Southern-style feast is simmering at Talent’s Naumes Suncrest Winery as it solicits funds for victims of the Almeda fire.

The second annual Crawfish Boil, planned for 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 26, commemorates the winery’s release of 2017 Chardonnay and Malbec and 2018 Viognier with a traditional Southern celebration. Hosted on the estate’s lawn with live music, festivities cost $25 per ticket, which includes a glass of wine and heaping plate of crawfish, gumbo, rice, potatoes and corn.

“Our chef and myself are from the South, and we thought it was a fun and casual way to introduce the Rogue Valley to some classic Southern cuisine,” says Campbell Baker, the winery’s assistant director and event coordinator. “Last year, it was a crazy successful event — about 400 people showed up!”

Because of social distancing measures, this year’s event is limited to 100 people. Masks are required. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com via facebook.com/NaumesSuncrestWinery

While the winery and grounds at 1950 Suncrest Road were not damaged in the Almeda fire, 24 Naumes employees and five family members of employees lost their homes. The company started the “Naumes Emergency Relief Fund” at U.S. Bank and pledged to contribute the first $35,000.

Naumes postponed until March its new barbecue competition, initially slated for the last weekend of this month, and reinstated the Crawfish Boil in its place. See naumessuncrestwinery.com


The Fat Kid Food Co. truck is serving free hot meals at Jackson County’s emergency shelter at The Expo, Eagle Point Walmart and other locations.

Co-owner Chaz McKenna has pledged that he and his crew are “in this for the long run,” accepting donations to serve hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and Asian-style noodles cooked to order. For every $100 donated, the truck can feed 42 people, McKenna says. The truck has been serving around 600 meals daily, exceeding 800 on some days since the Almeda and Obenchain fires devastated vast areas of the county.

“We are so thankful the community has supported us and allowed our little truck to be a vessel of some hope and encouragement to help others,” says McKenna.

Follow @fatkidfoodco on Instagram.


Here are some of the other charitable efforts by food-service establishments featured this year in Tempo:

Bigham Knoll Crossing in Jacksonville is accepting donations of nonperishable foods, sleeping bags, air mattresses, camping propane, diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene products, plastic bins and gallon-sized Ziploc bags for Medford’s Maslow Project. The eatery and grounds at 525 Bigham Knoll also is serving some comfort food favorites from its former German menu. See bighamcrossing.com for hours.

Falafel Republic in Ashland is feeding fire victims through its “Pita With a Purpose” program accessed at falafelrepublic.co. See the website or call 541-708-6121.

Free soup and bread has been served at Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine in Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E. Main St., Ashland. The restaurant also is accepting donations to sponsor a Larks meals for displaced people at The Expo. Call 541-488-5558.

Luna Cafe and Mercantile in Ashland has received so many donations for employees that it plans to distribute them through the wider community. Message @lunacafeashland on Instagram.

Medford Food Co-op is offering free meals to firefighters and emergency personnel today at The Cafe, 945 S. Riverside Ave., Medford. The Cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Co-op also has delivered meals to evacuees at The Expo and in White City.

Ruby’s in Medford is feeding the community through its “Buy a Burrito” campaign. The restaurant’s online ordering platform at rubysongenessee.com has options for purchasing on behalf of a first responder or displaced person for $6.

Xilakil Latin Fusion, 1361 Center Drive, Medford, has been accepting donations of toiletries, baby items, clothing, shoes and more. Items are available at the restaurant and Spartan Boxing, 729 Welch St., Medford, for those who need them.

The Fat Kid Food Co. truck is serving free hot meals to help with the communitywide response to the Southern Oregon wildfires. courtesy photo