Buy a T-shirt, help employ a chef.

Minneapolis North Loop clothing store Askov Finlayson is selling T-shirts to raise funds for Minnesota’s Central Kitchen, a volunteer program that could turn into paid employment for newly out-of-work Twin Cities cooks.

The $25 shirts come in black or white, men’s or women’s, and say “Cold hands, warm hearts. Northern Hospitality.” One-hundred percent of proceeds go to Second Harvest Heartland, which this week announced a partnership with Twin Cities restaurants to feed Minnesota’s hungry.

The program is making use of full restaurant pantries, food donations and the talents of hospitality professionals who recently found themselves out of work. All on-premise dining in Minnesota was ordered closed as of Tuesday to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Many restaurants are transitioning to delivery and curbside pickup orders, keeping only a fraction of the staff needed to run a busy restaurant.

Out-of-work cooks have already begun volunteering with Minnesota’s Central Kitchen to cook hot meals for hunger relief, an effort coordinated by Chowgirls Killer Catering, the Bachelor Farmer and Restaurant Alma. As more restaurants sign on, the goal is to have five kitchens producing 10,000 meals per day — and employing more than 250 people, said Eric Dayton, co-owner of Askov Finlayson and the Bachelor Farmer.

Buying a shirt at is one way to contribute. Monetary donations can also be made at

“So often in the past, the hospitality industry has stepped up to support our community,” Dayton said. “Now it’s time for our community to support hospitality during this unprecedented time of need.”

Postponement for Beard

The James Beard Foundation has postponed the announcement of its finalist nominees in its awards competition, as well as the three major spring events where the winners are presented (its Media Awards, Leadership Awards and the Restaurant & Chef Awards). The ceremonies will be moved to summertime, date to be determined.

Plan ahead for CSAs

This is the time to plan for summer cooking and buy your share of a community-supported agriculture farm. The 2020 edition of the Land Stewardship Project’s list of Twin Cities, Minnesota & Western Wisconsin Region CSA Directory offers more than 40 farms that provide vegetables, as well as meat and other products, to shareholders.

Shares in a CSA offer cooks regular amounts of fresh food throughout the growing season, and they do so while supporting local farmers in the community by paying in advance for the season’s offerings. Several farms provide flexible payment options and opportunities to become involved via harvest days and other activities. The directory includes farm descriptions and contact information. Find it at stewardshipfood/CSA.