The Journal Gazette
Monday, April 20, 2020 1:00 am

Free BBQ draws a crowd

Big Momma's hands out food, gloves, masks

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

Derek Taylor stood outside his southeast-side eatery Sunday afternoon, unsure where the line for his curbside pickup ended.

“This is a beautiful turnout,” said Taylor, owner of Big Momma's Kitchen.

The restaurant at 1307 Oxford St. offered a free, two-hour curbside community barbecue that boasted a menu of chicken, hamburgers and sides along with such in-demand items as face masks and toilet paper due to the coronavirus pandemic.

People were asked to stay in their vehicles so social distancing could be maintained.

The effort, which also distributed information about how to slow the spread of COVID-19, was supported by the Human Agricultural Cooperative, Faith United Methodist Church, Sweetwater Sound and community members.

Promotions for the Southeast Curbside Community Barbecue indicated 100 masks, 1,000 sanitary gloves, 200 rolls of toilet paper, 200 water bottles and 200 dinners would be distributed.

“We're about action,” said Ty Simmons of the Human Agricultural Cooperative.

The Allen County Department of Health strongly recommends the use of cloth facial coverings in public until the transmission of COVID-19 significantly slows.

In a line that stretched at least a quarter mile, cars waited as Taylor and others clad in facial coverings and sanitary gloves hustled to deliver plastic shopping bags of food and necessities.

Recipients could ask for meals for disabled, elderly or otherwise shut-in relatives who couldn't attend the pickup in person.

“Hey, you all be blessed,” Taylor told a family as they left.

Taylor, who expected more than 200 people would be served given the line, described the barbecue as “paying it forward.”

Eventually, the food ran out – a message organizers communicated via a cardboard sign to drivers waiting in line.

Taylor and Simmons promised to hold more events like Sunday's barbecue.

“I know the need's there,” Simmons said.

People can stay updated through the Facebook pages for Big Momma's Kitchen and Human Agricultural Cooperative, or they can email

Taylor, whose facial covering was patterned with flames, wore a black T-shirt featuring the term COVID-19 underneath a circle with a slash through it.

“This is our attitude every day,” he said.

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