Big Orange managed to raise over $3,500 for the Arkansas Food Bank to go toward fundraising efforts in the state through this campaign. Thanks for everyone who participated with your meals and gifts. Here are the final campaign numbers and the check given to the Foodbank.
Local hunger relief efforts have come a long way in Arkansas over the past several years, however it is estimated that nearly 300,000 people in Central and South Arkansas alone struggle with hunger and finding their next meal. To help increase awareness and raise money the Arkansas Foodbank joined the Feeding America network for Hunger Action Month this September.
One of the best and most impactful parts of that week is a collaboration between Big Orange and the Foodbank for their “End Hunger Week” at Big Orange. Starting today (8th) through next Wednesday (14th) all of the proceeds from select menu items will be donated to the Arkansas Foodbank to help with hunger relief efforts across the state.
The lineup changes slightly throughout the week, however the items represent some of the best daily specials Big Orange has offered. Best of all they all contain strong local ingredients to help further the efforts of hunger relief.
“We really wanted to focus on ending local hunger with local food,” Big Orange owner Scott McGehee tells us. “The best way to do that is to partner with local farmers and producers to build some amazing menu items.”
The specials start with a new shake special using the legendary Say McIntosh sweet potato pie from Little Rock. Robert “Say” McIntosh was a was a civil rights activist in Little Rock who owned a restaurant famous for their sweet potato pies. McIntosh would frequently hold fundraisers around his pies in the 70’s and 80’s to support various political campaigns.
Say’s famous pies, still served at their restaurant on 7th street serves as the base for the sweet potato pie shake that also features whipped cream and candied pecans.
The other big special is the return of the Ratatouille turkey burger. This was a favorite last time it appeared as a special on the menu. This time it features house made ratatouille using peppers and squash from Rattles Garden in Vilonia and eggplant and marconi peppers from North Pulaski farms.
“It is always a fine line when making a burger between something healthy and something delicious,” McGehee says. “The ratatouille burger is one of those rare instances that it does both very well. It is simple with a good burger topped with fresh vegetables from the ratatouille and a simple aioli. It really is one of our best burgers.”
Both the ratatouille burger and the sweet potato pie shake are part of the end hunger dishes each day of the promotion. On Friday the 9th a “fry-day” special is added with proceeds from Big Orange’s sweet potato fries added to the donation. Then next Monday – Wednesday Big Orange will donate proceeds from their signature cocktail, the Velvet Orange, as well.
The specials are a great excuse to get out and eat some outstanding local food while supporting those who do not have that option every day. It continues a very strong effort from Big Orange to leverage their sales, which are usually near the top of local restaurants, to give back to the community in big ways. It is something we would love to see out of even more restaurants and is something we are always happy highlight.