April 1, 2020

For Media Inquiries:
Irene Serrano

Chefs’ Initiative Expands to Serve More Free Meals to DC Metro-Area Children

Silver Diner at Rio and Pizzeria Paradiso Join Bayou Bakery in Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families to Support Those Impacted by COVID-19 School Closures


Arlington, Va. — As the school closures continue due to COVID-19, two more restaurants are joining the Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families initiative to serve free, nutritious meals to needy children and their families in the Washington, D.C., metro area. This week, Silver Diner at Rio in Gaithersburg, Md., and the Pizzeria Paradiso mobile pizza oven will join Arlington, Va.-based Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery which co-founded the initiative, in serving nourishing grab-and-go meals to children and their families impacted by closed schools, no questions asked.


Building on the continued Camellia beans and rice meal service of 11 am –1 pm, Monday-Friday, provided by Bayou Bakery for the Arlington, Va. area, Silver Diner at Rio will start serving free meals Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. (while supplies last) at their Gaithersburg location, 236 Boardwalk Place. Vegetarian, plant-based meals will be provided every weekday. This week’s meal is a healthy vegetable stir fry with pasta, edamame beans, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, pineapple, teriyaki sauce, carrots and hemp seeds.


The Pizzeria Paradiso mobile pizza oven will provide free healthy pizzas made with whole-grain crust and vegetable toppings to students and their families, starting Thursday, April 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Hyattsville, MD. This effort will be a part of Pizzeria Paradiso’s 10,000 pizzas initiative through which Chef Ruth Gresser will donate pizzas over the next ten weeks to those most affected by the COVID-19 crisis in the D.C. metro area.


“When Chef David Guas [of Bayou Bakery] approached us with the idea of joining forces to provide healthy meals to children in our community during the school shutdown, we jumped at the opportunity because we knew how critical school meals are to so many families. But the interest from so many chefs, restaurants and vendors who want to be involved has exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Jenn Yates, executive director of Real Food for Kids. “The generosity of donors from our community and our sponsors, ZwillGen and the Sampson Foundation, is fueling this expansion, and we hope that others will sign on to keep families fed during this exceedingly difficult time.”


Each meal served through the Chefs Feeding Families initiative aligns with Real Food for Kids' mission to increase access to healthy, whole foods for all children. These free meals are intended to complement the emergency meal distribution being implemented by local public school districts throughout the D.C. metro area.


To uphold the safety of the food served, each restaurant partner will be following CDC recommendations for preparing and serving food, as well as precautionary measures beyond already strict health and sanitation practices to give families in need a nutritious meal.


Real Food for Kids is seeking donations from the community to further expand this effort throughout the school shutdown. All the money raised will be used for the Chefs Feeding Families initiative, including funding purchases of food and supplies. To make a donation, visit


To find out when and where free meals will be available in your community, please visit or follow Real Food for Kids on Facebook for updates.


About Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families

Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families is a joint project with Washington, D.C., metro-area restaurants to provide nourishing grab-and-go meals to school children and their families impacted by closed schools to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Co-founded by Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington, Va. and Real Food for Kids, Chefs Feeding Families provides funding for food, supplies, and restaurant staff to feed as many families as possible and create employment opportunities within the restaurant community also impacted by COVID-19 closures. Visit to find the latest information about meal availability in your area and learn how to provide more meals for families in need.


Media Contacts by Initiative/Restaurant:

Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families: Irene Serrano,

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery: Simone Rathle,

Silver Diner at Rio: Vicki Bendure,

Pizzeria Paradiso: Elaine Mazanec,