“From Defeat to Hope: The Black Sheep in Whitewater Gives Out Free Meals” (The Gazette, Sun., 3/23)

Tyler Sailsbery

Readers will recall that we have featured this offer from The Black Sheep in our “Whitewater Responds to the COVID-19 community impact: Resources available for the community” post:
“Beginning Wednesday, March 18, and every Tuesday through Friday, for as long as they can or until the schools reopen, you can come to The Black Sheep between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. or between 3:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. to receive a meal that you can heat at home or a fruit, cereal, yogurt, and sandwich option. We believe no one should go hungry. Please call or text to let them know one day in advance how many meals you will need the next day and what time you will be arriving. Their phone number is (262) 613-7119 or you may send them a Facebook message.”

Owner/Chef Tyler Sailsbery’s generous offer is featured in an article by Jonah Beleckis in The (Janesville) Gazette on Sunday, March 22. The article describes how discouraged Tyler was when the social distancing mandate dramatically impacted his business, but he garnered hope from a very generous tip for his employees together with the thought that he could help the community in this difficult time by providing free meals. If you’re a subscriber or you don’t get foiled by the paywall, you may read the article here.

Below is Tyler’s response to the article as posted on his Facebook page:

“It’s because of all you we have been able to hand out 254 completely free meals in the last three days. We know the need is only going to grow. I have a lot of good people in my corner. I am thankful for all that everyone does in this community. Matthew Sylvester-KnudtsonLisa Dawsey SmithMarjorie StonemanRose LunaPeter ZaballosKristine ZaballosJenny HagenJen KainaSara KuhlMaggie Laughner . A huge shout all of my staff who jumps on board and jumps in. So so many of our guests and friends that support and contribute. Thank you Jonah Beleckis for sharing goodness and positivity in a dark time.”

And this from the Black Sheep’s Facebook page: 

“My cart looked a little bit different at the restaurant supply store. Aside from being overflowing. I don’t think I’ve ever bought ranch, bagged lettuce, macaroni noodles, baby carrots, a few hundred pounds of meat or pre-made pasta sauce to name a few.

But I needed to know that no matter what, we had food for these kiddos next week when the school took a much desvered break from their lunch program for spring break.

In the last 3 days The Black Sheep has served 254 free meals to kids, families, and the older adult population . We were able to do so largely because of our faith that this will get better, but also because people are kind and generous. So many have already joined us in our mission to serve our community, and we know that so many more will.

I had to make that run out to that supply store because I’ve spent so many days moved and crying. Receiving notes and requests like the ones in this picture. Where siblings are finding food for their other siblings willing to give up a meal themselves. A selflessness no one should have to choose.

Again I’m thankful for people’s kindness and generosity and their words of encouragement and donations. I’m thankful for Dana reaching out and letting me know that A’viands would be dropping off meat and cheese on our bar (while I was on my way to the restaurant supply store) because they shut down their on campus cafe. I’m thankful for all the people that reached out for all the things that I forgot. (Like more ziplock bags and cupcake cups @Jen kina)

I’m thankful that this community rallies around not only my restaurant but all of businesses here that are trying to make this community better. Especially thankful for my staff that are working like crazy to make sure we can still sell food but even more importantly give it away.

This too shall pass.”

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