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Plating Change initiative, restaurant given $20,000 to prepare, deliver hot meals

Posted at 11:00 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 23:38:02-05

BALTIMORE — "These are all ready to go. That's all baked chicken."

It's 9:00 a.m. at Colin's Seafood and Grill, but dinner is on the minds of owner Donte Daniels and his dedicated crew.

"It's two fold. It helps the restaurant in one fold and then also it helps the people in need in the second fold."

Daniels is on a mission to feed seniors and the homeless in his hometown of Baltimore.

"I was actually shocked. It was unbelievable."

He was selected by philanthropist Marcus Lemonis for his Plating Change initiative. Colin's was awarded $20,000 to prepare and deliver hot meals.

Baltimore actress Nicole Ari Parker and her husband actor Boris Kodjoe nominated Daniel's restaurant.

"We want to say thank you. We're all gonna get through this if we keep doing things like this, and Dante you're such a special person to so many people."

Daniels who started out as a chef has been in the restaurant business for 20 years. He says these are difficult times.

"In spite of it being tough we've still been able to maintain, hanging to most of our employees throughout the whole pandemic. This month has started off to be very tough. We're still hanging in there."

"My pitch to the team since COVID has hit along with day in and day out, it's tough for restaurants now. My pitch has been we have to be grateful for what we have. There's always people who are way less fortunate than we are."

$3,000 of the 20,000 will go to servers and bartenders since they saw the biggest hit with restaurant capacity being limited.

Once the money is gone, Daniels has found a way to keep paying it forward.

The community can purchase hot meals of chicken, fish, vegetables and rice for $10. He's named them Connie meals in honor of his mom.

"Already we have 150 Connie meals purchased. Every time we reach a goal of 100 we will go out and feed. Whether it's a senior building, whether it's a homeless shelter or a church in need."