In an amazing display of ‘Southern’ hospitality, a Hamilton fixture for elevated comfort food is making 600 meals to feed the frontlines at St. Joseph’s Healthcare this week during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That would be The Dirty South, slinging dishes like fried chicken and pulled pork out of their small storefront on Barton Street near James North.
Originally known as a food truck offering curb-side deliciousness at events in Hamilton and beyond, The Dirty South moved into more permanent digs just before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a state of emergency nationwide and saw local businesses losing foot traffic and having to adjust to temporarily trickier realities.
However, according to The Dirty South co-owner Kara Liersch, the newly-opened restaurant was readily embraced by the community despite the challenging circumstances. The food spot has been filling orders for delivery and curb-side pickup on a near daily basis ever since.
That outpouring of support is part of what inspired The Dirty South to give back to the city; particularly those putting their health at risk each day as they continue to provide frontline essential services during this unprecedented crisis.
“The sense of community we have felt since we opened – which coincided with the beginning of the pandemic – has been tremendous and we just want to show that love back,” says Liersch.
The Dirty South is showing that love in the best way they know how: with delicious food.
On Thursday, The Dirty South will be hand-delivering 600 hot meals to the West 5th branch of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton to feed the frontline workers and ensure no one gets left behind.
“We wanted to make sure that we included all frontline workers… from the janitorial staff right up to doctors and everything in between,” explains Liersch.
The Dirty South has been busy providing dozens of meals to a whole host of other Hamiltonian essential workers as well, including those at Dundurn Place Care Centre, workers in ambulatory services, and the oncology department at Juravinski Hospital.
Many of those deliveries were made up of anything from 20 to 130 meals; the 600 meal drop-off at St. Joseph’s this week is a particularly massive jump.
According to The Dirty South – which is still facing the same business struggles as the rest of the restaurant industry – they’ve had some surprise monetary help in making it happen, too.
“This started as us doing as many meals as we could until we hit a ceiling,” explains Liersch.
“Then, an anonymous donor stepped in to assist us, which has given us the ability to branch out and do what we do best – feed the masses!”
Lead image courtesy of @dirtysouthtruck