PROVIDENCE – Restaurant Local 121 will host A Real Swell Feed on Jan. 26 from 4 to 8:30 p.m. to benefit Amos House and Crossroads Rhode Island.
Using Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s distribution services, Local 121 owners Josh and Nancy Miller will chair the event and Robert McConnell and Donna Benoit will serve as co-chairs.
The three-course dinner will feature a carving station and sides and desserts served “family style.” Guests will be asked to make a donation in lieu of paying a check. Envelopes will be provided on each table so that donations may be made privately. Patrons will be asked to pay the restaurant only for beverages they order. The event’s live entertainment will be provided by the Extraordinary Rendition Band.
During the Great Depression, the restaurant at the Dreyfus Hotel – the renovated space that houses Local 121 and AS220 space – held what the newspaper called at the time a “swell feed” for the needy members of the Providence community. The meals served at these annual events were of the same culinary quality that upscale dining room patrons were served. As many as 1,400 hungry Rhode Islanders would attend, endearing the hotel and restaurant owners to the local community.
“In the spirit of community, I wanted to create a unique event that would evoke that same spirit of neighbors helping neighbors,” said Nancy Miller.
All the money raised at A Real Swell Feed will go to Farm Fresh Rhode Island, a not-for-profit organization that delivers local farmers' food to restaurants and food pantries across the state. With that donation, Amos House and Crossroads Rhode Island will be able to order local, healthy foods directly through Farm Fresh’s Market Mobile distribution service, at no cost to their organizations.
“These organizations provide crucial services to the hungry and homeless in our state, many of whom crave high-quality, nutritious food,” said Robert McConnell, a Providence attorney and board member at the George Wiley Center and the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, who is co-chairing A Real Swell Feed. “Farm Fresh Rhode Island provides an outstanding service to Amos House and Crossroads by providing that nutritious food – grown by our own neighbors.”