Fort Wayne restaurant steps up while Hoosiers lock down

Some Fort Wayne residents took to grocery stores in search of items they were unable to find last week. Hundreds of others in Fort Wayne were able to receive a free meal provided by Umi Seafood and Sushi.

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 6:32 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 10:50 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The first day of lockdown meant that only workers considered essential were to leave their homes.

Some Fort Wayne residents took to grocery stores in search of items they were unable to find last week.

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Umi

Fort Wayne resident Nathan Wilkes said he was surprised to see as many open parking spots as there were, but hygiene products were still hard to come by in the store.

Hundreds of others in Fort Wayne were able to receive a free meal provided by Umi Seafood and Sushi.

“We have got a restaurant and instead of closing it lets keep it open to serve those in need during this time,” said Brian Bauer, Umi Fort Wayne owner. “We committed every day, five days a week, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to serve up to 500 meals at no cost to the public.”

Umi exceeded their goal of 500 meals, passing out about 600 meals each day this week.

Bauer said cars began lining up on March, 25 at 10 a.m. and most of the meals had been passed out within 40 minutes.

“The worst part of the day is when we have to cut the line off,” Bauer said. “Because we want to keep this going every day.”

Umi will remain serving carryout meals each night from 4-8 p.m. and will use the proceeds to continue serving free lunches.

“If I can encourage people to take carryout from here all the proceeds are going right into this for the next day and it's keeping our staff employed,” Bauer said. “They are coming in at night working on carryout and prepping these meals for the next day.”

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