Toasted is giving free grilled cheese sandwiches to Orlando kids stuck home from school


Toasted, the local burger and "crafted grilled cheese" sandwich chain, is worried about kids who rely on reduced and free lunch programs, and especially whether they'll have enough to eat while riding out the coronavirus pandemic at home.

They've decided to do something about it by offering kids across Central Florida free grilled cheese meals at no cost, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., starting on Monday.

The sandwiches are available to all students during the two-week school break, regardless of what school they attend or whether they are enrolled in a meal program. It's limited to one meal per kid per day, and each child has to be present to order.

"This simply shouldn’t have to be a worry for any family," said Toasted on a Facebook post on Sunday night. "As a member of the Orange County community, it’s our job to support those students and families who have supported us all of these years."

Their social media followers immediately began commenting on the post and sharing it.

"You are truly looking out for the good of the many," wrote Carolyn Weinstein. "Thank you, bless you."

"What an amazing gesture of kindness! I will support this company!" wrote Jennifer White Morgan.
Some noted that most school districts have already made arrangements to provide food for kids during the school closures, and the restaurant responded they are aware of that but, "with the situation changing so quickly we figure the more options parents have the better!"

Opportunities for parents to feed their kids for free are indeed too few, especially ones that don't call attention to your broke ass.

Some on Facebook, however, criticized the offer as contradicting CDC directives to avoid mass gatherings of people where COVID-19 could be transmitted.

"That's so sweet of you, but the requirement of having to dine in defeats the purpose of social distancing, which is the reason that schools are closed," said Melinda Drake.

Jessica Myers Hazzard wrote, "It’s a very nice offer, but requiring people to dine in may lead to further spreading the virus that we are all trying to eradicate."

"We definitely agree with that statement and can clarify our messaging," Toasted responded, after initially making the offer for "in house dining only."

"We are fine with placing the order in person and taking it to dine out to adhere to social distancing! Thank you!"

The Winter Park location, at 1945 Aloma Ave., includes curbside pickup, so a meal can be prepared in the kitchen and brought straight to a customer's car.

The offer is good at all four Toasted locations in Central Florida, including UCF, Lake Nona and Windermere.

Due to rapidly changing circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many Central Florida events have been postponed or canceled. Orlando's restaurants, venues and hospitality workers could use your support right now. Order takeout, buy gift cards and tip generously – but also call ahead to venues to make sure an event is still happening. As always, follow CDC guidelines on staying safe.

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