Minnesota Central Kitchen, the collaboration between chefs and nonprofits to feed people in need in the Twin Cities during COVID-19, has expanded to Surly Brewing, its fifth kitchen site. Leaders said Tuesday the initiative will continue even after restaurants reopen to the public because a growing number of Minnesotans will need help as a result of COVID-19.

The five kitchens employ 100 food service workers who've dished up 306,000 meals since mid-March — from BBQ ribs to tater tot hot dish and burritos — half of which are produced with donated ingredients or food that would otherwise have been thrown out.

Meals are distributed to people in need through Appetite for Change, the Sanneh Foundation, Catholic Charities in St. Cloud and Loaves & Fishes' free meal sites across the Twin Cities. The four other kitchen sites are Chowgirls Killer Catering, Appetite for Change, Compass/Eurest and Sodexo. The Bachelor Farmer had participated until its recent closure.

The initiative, led by Second Harvest Heartland, costs more than $5 million over six months. Second Harvest CEO Allison O'Toole said the effort will be permanent, another way to deliver food to people in need.