Local favourite Tasty Jerk has joined the local fight against lockdown child hunger by becoming another kind-hearted provider of free school meals for one of Elephant Park’s local schools, Surrey Square Primary.
With dine-in options suspended, owners Linda and Rayon, decided to put their extra time into giving back to the community which has supported them since their beginnings as a market-must and a pop-up sensation. They explained they jumped at the chance to provide help to families who need it most; ‘Rachel from the Elephant Park retail team approached us regarding the drive to help feed local school children, she asked for breakfast food and we were happy to help!’.
Having a local provider of at least one free meal per day helps take the edge off lockdown struggles for families who, like many of us, juggle homeschooling and working but with the added stress of having to provide an extra meal per day, now that school dinners aren’t an option. For many, the added expense of a meal is a burden that tips the scales to breaking point.
Thankfully, local heroes such as Tasty Jerk are on hand to help feed the community. And it’s not the first time the Sayer Street duo has dished-up scrumptious food for good causes. Linda and Rayon are lockdown legends not once, but twice helping spread the love through their hearty, healthy and warming meals; ‘ During the first lockdown, we were asked to help out with catering for local hotel Rest Up at a discount - we gladly provided 400 to 500 meals per week for over three months.’
As well as feeding local children for free, the dynamic duo has also set their sites on the community’s local frontline workers.
After a long shift, the last thing anyone wants to do is cook up a meal, with people often plumping for quick but nutrition-lacking fast food options - not if Tasty Jerk has anything to do with it. Renowned for gloriously tasty and warming Caribbean favourites such as jerk chicken (naturally), rice and peas, ackee saltfish and curried goat, owner and chef Rayon cooks from the heart and it shows. Linda told us that key workers in the community give so much, that they couldn’t help but thank them in the best way possible, with food; ‘We provide meals for frontline workers during the worst of the pandemic. They’re doing such an amazing job for our country that this was a little way to say a big thank you. Thankfully, we received support, financial and otherwise, from Lendlease who are always on hand to help good causes.’
Elephant Park’s stalwart eateries have really stepped up to the plate this lockdown, building a stronger sense of identity and love for local produce than ever before, as Linda explains; ‘What keeps us going when things get tough is our faith in people - seeing everyone support each other and showing empathy every day.’
One day soon, we all hope to be back to normality. For many restaurants, this can’t come soon enough. Many will share Tasty Jerk’s simple and hopeful wish for 2021: to be able to welcome her loyal customers back into the restaurant. ‘All I want to do is to get back to business and for Tasty Jerk to be successful on Sayer Street’, says Linda who explains that the community spirit at Elephant Park makes things easier, with everyone in the same boat. ‘Working with people who share and support similar values makes things much easier because you all have the same goal, and can better support each other.’
For more information on Tasty Jerk, visit the website here.