MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins announced today that they have surpassed their $1 million goal to directly impact local minority-owned restaurants through the food relief program.
“When we started this program last June, we wanted to be intentional in supporting minority-owned businesses to combat food insecurity, provide consistent resources and keep their doors open during the pandemic,” said Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins Vice Chairman and CEO. “We are proud to have exceeded our goal and remain committed to supporting small businesses and people in need right here in our backyard in Miami Gardens.”
On June 1, 2020, Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross and the Miami Dolphins Foundation announced a multi-million-dollar major-gift commitment through the Miami Dolphins Foundation for providing jobs and nutrition on a sustained and long-term basis through the Miami Dolphins Food Relief Program. The year-long commitment has provided 1,000 meals each day prepared by Centerplate and local minority-owned restaurants to combat food insecurity. Now in February, the $1 million goal has been surpassed with four months remaining in the program.
“Lorna’s Caribbean, along with others, has experienced some financially difficult times in this pandemic,” said Matari & Ruth Bodie and Lorna Westmoreland, Owners of Lorna’s Caribbean & American Grill. “Through the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program we were able to stay afloat as well as provide meals for the less fortunate in Miami Gardens. We are very appreciative and proud to be a part of this great experience with the Dolphins. We appreciate this opportunity to introduce our restaurant to a whole new audience. May you continue your support of Lorna’s Caribbean and American Grille as well as the beautiful city of Miami Gardens.”
“The Miami Dolphins are a first-class organization led by Owner Stephen Ross who is a pillar in our community,” said Shawn Flowers & Danielle Perry, Owners of Reggae Beets Gourmet Food Truck. “Mr. Ross has been a huge blessing to the South Florida community as he has led by example on how to give back. His philanthropic efforts are unmatched as he sets the standard for helping both small businesses and those feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Time and time again the Miami Dolphins have come in clutch with their Food Relief Program and we couldn’t be more honored to be a part of it. In these uncertain times when so many families are in need, being able to help provide heart-healthy meals to the community is a huge blessing. It truly warms our hearts to see the smiles of so many faces when we are out in the community delivering #DolphinsMeals and this is all made possible by Mr. Ross, we are so thankful for his generosity and we are forever grateful for the entire Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program for allowing us to be a part of such an amazing initiative.”
“I am a second-generation Miami native originally from Overtown but raised in Liberty City,” said Herbert Coleman, Co-Owner and Chef of SEED Miami. “As far back as I can remember the Dolphins have been a first-class organization. I must say that Mr. Ross and his team have taken this to another level. The support that he has committed to the urban community and small businesses have been nothing shy of a miracle during this heartbreaking pandemic. This amazing partnership with the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program was our saving grace. So many small businesses have not been able to survive in this challenging time. This pandemic has been a test for us all, rich, poor and everyone in between. Partnering with the Dolphins has allowed us to maintain our business and our employees. It has always been our prayer to be blessed and to be a blessing. Our partnership with the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program has allowed us to do exactly that. We have been able to be of service to thousands of wonderful people from West Palm to Florida City. In addition, we have had the privilege to meet some real community service heroes that pour their heart and soul into making sure that others are being taken care of day by day. Our humble thanks again to the Miami Dolphins organization, Stephen Ross and Tom Garfinkel for the Food Relief Program being a beacon of light in the darkness. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
“Collaborating with the Miami Dolphins Food Relief Program has helped both my community as well as my staff,” said Rolanda Benjamin, Owner of Lovely’s On The Go. “It has helped to bring nutritious healthy meals to members of our community who otherwise wouldn’t have had access to food which could ultimately lead to food insecurity. With regards to my staff, it has helped to ensure they are able to continue to financially support their families during a time when layoffs are prevalent. We are grateful for the opportunity to work directly with Mr. Ross’ outstanding organization with a special note that his staff is by far top-rated. We look forward to a continued partnership.”
Ross and the organization initially invested $2 million in the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program. The program received a $1 million gift from the Lennar Foundation and has worked to raise an additional $1 million from the South Florida community and Miami Dolphins fans worldwide that Ross will match for a potential $5 million total impact. Individuals and businesses that wish to participate in the match program can donate online at dolphins.com/meals.