With schools closed for the foreseeable future, an unforeseen need in the community has been created.
Many children in Sylvan Lake receive their breakfast through programs at school. Now that classes are no longer being held, a local business is seeing to it that school-aged children get breakfast.
Heather Jones and Trevor Scott, owners of Open Range Saloon, began offering pancakes to children, and plan to continue to do so as long they are able.
“We saw a need in our community and have the ability to help,” Jones said.
“We have the capabilities and equipment all at our finger tips, so it just made sense. We knew we could [do] this small thing in a time of need,” said Scott.
On March 16 Jones and Scott, along with employees at Open Range Saloon, cooked up around 150 pancakes, with plans to make more throughout the day as supplies dwindled.
The husband and wife team say the restaurant will provide two pancakes to every school age child, those pre-kindergarten through to Grade 12.
Breakfast orders can be made by calling Open Range or messaging them on Facebook.
Orders and pick ups can be made throughout the day, according to Jones.
“We want parents, grandparents and guardians know that if breakfast is needed for their kids, they can find it here, no questions asked,” Jones said.
In a world of self-isolation and social distancing, breakfast doesn’t have to be eaten in the restaurant.
For those who are concerned and would rather stay home, Jones says you can bring in your own Tupperware.
“We get it, people don’t want to be eating out right now, home is safe and people don’t want to leave. We don’t want to make anyone feel like they are in a risky position,” said Scott.
He continued, saying orders can be picked up in the restaurant or they can be delivered curb-side.
Jones added an order can be made later in the day to be used as breakfast the next morning.
“We don’t want anyone to worry in this uncertain time… If kids were using the breakfast program at school it was because they needed it, because the parents needed it,” said Jones.
To help take the stress of this difficult time, Jones says there is absolutely no charge for the pancake breakfast.
“This is a difficult for everyone, and we just want to help in anyway we can,” said Jones.
Jones and Scott hope other businesses in town will consider partnering with them in the pancake breakfast endeavour.
While they are happy to provide pancakes to school kids in Sylvan Lake, Jones said they would like to be offer fresh fruit, a granola bar or a juice box for each breakfast.
“I think this is a time when we need to come together as a community and help our most vulnerable residents,” said Scott.
Open Range will be providing breakfast during open hours to those in need in Sylvan Lake for as long as they can.
“Until the government tells us to close, or the kids are back in school we will be here making pancakes,” said Jones.
Those interested in partnering or making a donation to the pancake breakfast program can do so by contacting Open Range Saloon, as well as anyone needing to provide breakfast to a child in need.
“We just want to put a smile on a kid’s face, and make someone happy,” said Scott.