Silver Diner at Rio in Gaithersburg and Real Food for Kids teamed up to launch a weekday program to feed those in need in the region. The program, Chefs Feeding Families, set up to run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, gave away 350 meals in just 25 minutes. The two organizations were disheartened to have to turn away a large number of families waiting in line.

“With additional donations from the community, we can expand this program to feed even more people,” says Jenn Yates, executive director with Real Food for Kids. “The need is enormous and growing as the COVID-19 crisis deepens. We could have easily fed several hundred more people today.”

“Many people in our communities are hurting,” says Silver Diner’s Executive Chef and co-founder Ype Von Hengst. “Many children in our area are missing out on the meals they’d normally get in their schools and many family members have been laid off.”  Silver Diner is not without its own challenges—the company recently had to lay off almost 1600 employees. “In spite of our struggles, we still wanted to participate in this program to give back,” Von Hengst added.

Silver Diner has a long-standing history of working with local schools and, to date, has given more than $1 million in grants to area schools for use on health, nutrition and exercise programs.

Real Food for Kids and chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington, Va. initiated the Chefs Feeding Families project on March 17. “In the first 9 days we served over 1,500 meals and received an outpouring of financial support from the community. As a result, we’re now able to expand our program to include Silver Diner at Rio,” stated Bonnie Moore, local culinary consultant and board member of Real Food for Kids. “Our hope is to roll this out to other areas as well.”  

Moore adds, “Chefs Feeding Families aims to feed children and their families, no questions asked. We also aim to support our local restaurants and provide continued employment for restaurant workers.”

Contributions to the program may be made at

Silver Diner at Rio will continue to serve a single-serve, healthy meal every weekday from 2 to 4 p.m. (while supplies last) until further notice, at 236 Boardwalk Place, in Rio, Gaithersburg, Md. 20878. Those seeking the meals can pull up to the curb and pick up as many meals as needed for their family. Representatives from Silver Diner and Real Food for Kids will be on hand at the pop-up tent at that address. They are all practicing social distancing and all meals are prepared under strict CDC guidelines.

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