Envolve purchases lunch from locally-owned restaurants for Shady Oaks Manor and Crestwood Apartments residents
FORT WORTH, TX & ST. CLOUD, FL — What started out as a way to help local businesses during the uncertain times of COVID-19 has blossomed into a lunch program that fosters community fellowship.
Envolve LLC, one of the country’s largest affordable multifamily property owners and managers, wanted to do something special to support its communities. The company recently purchased lunches for all residents of Shady Oaks Manor—but instead of patronizing a chain restaurant, they chose locally-owned Legend'z Barbecue. About a month later, lunches were purchased for Crestwood’s residents from locally-owned NY Bagel, Deli & Pizza.
“During 2020 and into 2021, we noticed that local restaurants in particular were suffering significant losses in sales,” said Debbie Workman, SVP, Portfolio Director for Envolve Communities. “The Envolve Resident Lunch Program is a way for us to give back—not only to small businesses, but to our amazing residents. These particular luncheons took place close to the holidays, so we felt especially compelled to live out our tagline of ‘Making Communities Better Together.’”
At the Shady Oaks gathering in Fort Worth, TX, attendees lined up outside of the property to pick up their hearty meals. Choices included barbecue chicken, ribs, chopped beef, hot links, sausage, potato salad, baked beans, green beans, a variety of drinks, and chocolate or strawberry cake. Envolve also donated 150 fabric face masks to be distributed at the event, and all leftover food was given to those without housing in the area. Additionally, the community took the opportunity to celebrate Maria C., a resident who was injured in an accident last year. It was the first time everyone at Shady Oaks got a chance to visit with her since her recovery.
“I was grateful to be chosen to service this resident event,” said C.J. Sparks, the owner of Legend’z Barbecue. He added that he was forced to close his brick & mortar restaurant due to the pandemic, so he shifted the business model to pre-orders and mobile catering via food truck. His goal is to eventually reopen a physical restaurant. Legend’z Barbecue also has a philanthropic element that centers around providing food to the homeless in and around Fort Worth.
“The weather was beautiful, and we had an impressive turnout,” said Tywonji Gordon, Community Manager of Shady Oaks Manor. “Several residents commented that the food was wonderful!”
The Envolve Resident Lunch Program’s next stop was Crestwood Apartments in St. Cloud, FL. Menu options included sub sandwiches (meatball or chicken parmesan), pizza (cheese or pepperoni), garlic knots, and soda. Envolve also donated 224 fabric face masks, which were quickly distributed as residents lined up in the Crestwood community room to enjoy some tasty Italian fare.
The owner of NY Bagel, Deli & Pizza, Lonny McDougal, was excited to be a part of this endeavor. “It was a pleasure working with you, and I would do this again for the Crestwood community anytime!” he commented. Residents echoed the sentiment—one saying, “Thank you so much! Crestwood is always looking out for us!” while another added, “Thank you! The food was delicious and oh so filling!”
Towards the end of the luncheon, the property announced the winners of their Holiday Balcony Decorating Contest for residents. Each received a Walmart gift card as their prize.
“We awarded the first, second, and third place winners, then gave prizes to an ‘inspirational’ winner and a ‘creativity’ winner as well,” said Julissa Gelpi, Community Manager of Crestwood. “It was a great way to close out such a cheer-filled luncheon!”