Photo courtesy Blaze PR

By Connor Dziawura

A dollar goes a long way.

More specifically, $1 equals 10 meals.

Considering that figure and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chronic Tacos Mexican Grill is matching customers’ $1 donations to local food banks near its restaurants.

Valley customers can eat well and add a donation to their order knowing they’re supporting the Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank through December 31. Chronic Tacos has a location at 3121 W. Peoria Avenue, Suite 104, Phoenix.

“We set out the goal to provide 200,000 meals through the food banks,” explains Michael Mohammed, CEO of the SoCal-inspired Mexican grill, which has grown to more than 60 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Japan since it launched in 2002.

Chronic Tacos still has time to hit that 200,000-meal milestone. But first, it had to formulate its plan. Mohammed says the idea came “from just the current situation and what we’re all going through as a country (and) as a world.”

“Since the pandemic kind of began, we’ve tried as a brand to reach out and do things, especially where it’s food related. We feel that strongly relates to us as a brand,” he explains, pointing to a school lunch program through which Chronic Tacos provided bagged lunches to kids in need back in the spring.

“And in discussing it with our team as we’re closing out the year and looking at different things we could do, we really just felt that there was a need—and speaking with the food banks, there is a real need to provide any kind of support that we could to them,” he continues, acknowledging the urgency with which he says food banks need funds.

While a food drive was at one point considered, Mohammed says the best thing Chronic Tacos could do is ultimately to rope all its locations into an initiative to encourage their loyal customers to lend a helping hand. All patrons will be offered the chance to donate at the register—and Mohammed clarifies they can of course go beyond the suggested $1.

“They can donate any amount, but what we are going to do is we’re going to match what our customers donate during that period of time,” Mohammed says, emphasizing that the chain wanted to ensure customers’ donations would support the food banks in their own communities.

And the community that surrounds Chronic Tacos at large has been supportive in the long run, Mohammed notes.

“We really appreciate the support that our community has shown to us through all this and we wanted to make sure that we work with our community to give back to those in need in our community, because we feel it’s going to be a difficult holiday season and we can see that things are ramping up again and the need is more than ever to help out those who really rely on the food banks,” he says.

Chronic Tacos, 3121 W. Peoria Avenue, Suite 104, Phoenix, 623.594.9440, chronictacos.com.

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