CORONAVIRUS: Concession owner trades donuts for donations to Springfield nonprofit

Candi’s Concessions is helping fulfill the need to feed Springfield families during the COVID-19 pandemic by offering residents donuts in exchange for donations.

Candice Chester, owner of Candi’s Concessions, is setting up her donut trailer on the weekend and some days throughout the week at Scout’s Cafe, 1399 Moorefield Rd.

“We’re just doing donations only. We’re asking for pre-packaged snacks, juice boxes, fruit, fruit cups, anything,” Chester said. “They are getting donuts and they are also doing a good deed.”

The donations Chester collects go to H.O.P.E, a Springfield nonprofit, that has been providing free hot meals and bagged lunches to the community from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 705 Linden Ave.

“I’m just trying to keep them stocked,” Chester said. “They’re working every day and they are not giving up.”

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Chester began helping the community by providing Springfield students with breakfast from her donut trailer - after Gov. Mike DeWine closed public and private K-12 schools on March 12.

“I just thought I could offer a meal to these kids like a breakfast and then a friend of mine suggested that we do hot dogs, so we started doing that,” Chester explained.

Chester and a team of family and friend volunteers served lunch to Springfield students the first week school was out.

After having a surplus of hot dogs, Chester heard about H.O.P.E. and wanted to donate the extra hot dogs to them.

Chester said this is when she decided to offer donuts to residents in exchange for donations as a larger food outreach effort to help keep H.O.P.E afloat.

Jackie Mounts, executive director of H.O.P.E., explained that Chester has not only donated hundreds of dollars worth of food items and paper products, but has saved H.O.P.E. time.

“It’s been huge,” Mounts said. “Not only what she has donated but the fact that she gathers donations, delivers them to us and goes shopping with money people have donated when she has been out there. It saves us time as well as provided no telling how many people we have been able to feed as a result of her work.”

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Last week, H.O.P.E served over 1,100 meals, Mounts said.

Susan Backus, a volunteer and retired Springfield-Clark CTC executive director said, “Candice is using her resources in a way to provide for food outreach in an area that really needs it. I am happy to be able to help her.”

Chester’s donut trailer usually appears at fairs and festivals, but many have already canceled. Chester said she couldn’t just let her food truck sit there.

“We’ve got to either feed people or figure it out how to make this work,” Chester said. “I’m not quite sure where our path is going to take us at this point, but I think for now we are doing what we are doing and having fun doing it and the people we have met are amazing.”

Candi’s Concessions will be at Scout’s Cafe 9 a.m to noon Thursday and Friday. To find out where Candi’s Concessions will be in the future, search for Candi’s Concessions on Facebook.

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