Hurricane Katrina prepared Amanda Toups for COVID—she learned what it took to support a community in crisis. So, on March 15, she and her husband Isaac Toups, partners in New Orleans’ Toups Meatery, immediately sprung into action.

Toups rallied fellow restaurateurs and suppliers, and Toups Meatery soon began serving family meal to 400 to 500 people a day. Her Instagram stories got the attention of a former New Orleans Saints player, who convinced her to set up a Venmo account—seeded by his generous donation.

For the holidays, Toups Meatery prepared 1,500 Christmas dinners to go. “One mother thanked me, saying ‘this made it possible for me not to have to choose between Christmas dinner and buying a toy for my child.’ That comment still makes me cry,” said Toups.