In an effort to uplift the community, and following the example set in both Spokane and the Colville/Kettle Falls area, Emily Unger has started a Deer Park chapter of the “Quaranteam”. This is an organized effort to aid local businesses and community members in need by gathering donations, then using them to buy meals at local eateries to feed individuals in need. No questions asked.
Emily Unger was inspired to take action for her community. “Our mission is to help struggling restaurants, feed the community, and raise spirits in this worldwide downtime,“ said Unger, who started Deer Park’s Quaranteam movement and subsequent Facebook group after seeing other local communities do similar things. Unger stated that the function of the Quaranteam is a simple one. Members of the community donate funds which are then used to purchase meals and drinks at full price from our local restaurants or coffee shops. These meals and treats are handed out for free to those who need them, no questions asked. Meal handout times and locations will be announced on the Facebook page: DPGazette.com/quaranteam
Unger was motivated by several factors. One comes from her current job working at one of Deer Park’s local restaurants and seeing the impacts of the shutdowns on the businesses. “I’ve seen first hand how difficult and heartbreaking it has been for us. It’s a reality I live everyday,” Unger told the Gazette. “The day I walked in and saw all of our tables and chairs in the back for the first time, is a day I will never forget.” Unger went on to say that the restaurant where she works had a fairly easy time adapting to the restrictions, but she knows that has not been the case for many of the other places. “I have friends who have lost jobs due to local restaurants closing. It’s sad, and I’m tired of watching local livelihoods go down the drain.”
“The support has been indescribably generous,” said Unger. With a majority of monetary donations coming directly from community members, the good old fashioned value of loving your neighbor certainly rings true. With the lingering anguish from a year of turmoil and loss, the level of giving happening on the Deer Park Quaranteam group has the power to help bring some joy to both the givers and recipients. “Deer Park loves Deer Park,” said Unger, “and they are ready to rise together and heal from this economic sickness.”
All the effort thus far is coming to fruition, as Unger has connected with their first two restaurants for a meal giveaway. Both Rancho Alegre and Lofty Skies C.O.F.F.E.E. will be giving away meals on Wednesday the 23rd.
- Lofty Skies will be handing out 21 free breakfasts starting at 6am.
- Rancho Alegre will be giving away 30 meals starting at 11am.
Both meals will be given away to first come first served until they are gone.
When asked what the community could do to help the effort, Unger answered that donating funds, and sharing the Facebook group is a great way to help. At the time of writing this, the quickly growing group has over 600 members, up from 500 a mere two days prior. A recent post suggested that if each member gave a single dollar on a specific day, that would be over $600 that could be used to help out businesses and individuals in the community.
Rachael Achurra has come alongside Unger in this huge undertaking. Together the two have ironed out many of the details that are required to make this work.
“The warm feeling you get when you know you’re helping your community, it’s keeping me going,” Unger said. “Here in Deer Park, we sure do have a lot to be proud of. The way this has spread like wildfire across town proves it.”
If you or someone you know could use a free meal or drink from one of our local eateries, keep up with the Deer Park Quaranteam Facebook page DPGazette.com/quaranteam to find out when and where they will be handing out these premade meals.
If You Want to Donate
There are several options:
- Venmo @deerparkquaranteam
- Cash App $deerparkquaranteam
For more information or if you have any questions, reach out to Emily Unger or Rachel Achurra through the facebook group.