050620_food

Members of the Certified Burgers & Beverage team stand outside of the restaurant on St. Simons Island. The business partnered with Halyards and Island Brew to offer Meals to Heal, which provides food to locals in need.

It all started with an idea from Ryanne Carrier, who wanted to find a way to help feed people who were struggling during this trying time.

Less than a week later, the Carrrier’s restaurant Certified Burgers, along with Halyards and Local Brew, put together Golden Isles Meals to Heal, delivering food to those who needed it.

Both Ryanne and her husband, David Carrier, are Sea Island veterans and are always looking for ways to help make sure their friends and family are taken care of because they supported them along the way.

These restaurants partnered with various local companies, churches and ministries in the community to spread the word — and boy, they did.

A little over a month since Meals to Heal started, the restaurants have fed 243 families or roughly 978 people dinner.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Ryanne Carrier said. “It’s been far more successful than I ever imagined. We’re so used to donating all the time — people are always constantly coming to us and asking for us to donate a gift certificate, time, or something. It doesn’t matter. When I came up with this idea I was like, it will help us cover the costs, but it would also help guarantee our staff work. And so that’s the way that we looked at it.”

The idea came about when friends from out of town and state called and wanted them to ship food so that they could support the restaurant during this difficult time. She said that the store isn’t licensed to do that, but asked if they would like to purchase a meal for someone locally, and they agreed. This phone call sparked the idea, and Ryanne got to work on figuring out how to make it happen.

After the founder of Social Compass in Brunswick, Jared DiVincent, stopped by the store one day and offered to help them with whatever they needed — the ball really started to roll.

“It wouldn’t have got up and running without people like Jared,” David Carrier said.

He said if DiVincent and others in the community hadn’t worked to spread the word, Meals to Heal might not have been nearly as successful as it has been.

“It was through the help of friends and people like Jared, who stepped up — everything from the logo, email addresses, to it all,” David Carrier said. “We spread the word to a few people before the whole thing, and before you knew it, we sold 30 meals.”

Community Church at St. Simons was also a big part of getting Meals to Heal going.

“So it really was a village that built this and essentially that raised this,” David Carrier said.

The Carriers have always been blown away by how much community members support each other. During times like this, it’s essential. And the Carriers knew that continuing to partner with area organizations would help the mission grow.

It started with working with Hope 1312 Collective and then Coastal Outreach Soccer. Last Friday, Shawn Williams at Coastal Outreach Soccer had someone donate 30 meals, and all three places jumped to action.

“So 10 went to Halyards, 10 came here and 10 went to Local Brew, and then we all collectively got our food out and took care of those people,” Ryanne Carrier said.

They both said that without the help of the community, none of this would be possible.

“None of this was possible without the people that have you know, supported us with this or supported Ryanne with this idea,” David Carrier said.

Certified Burgers and Beverage will celebrate its fourth anniversary in July, and outside of a couple of shutdowns due to hurricanes, both David and Ryanne strive to keep their doors open to continue to serve.

“As as long as people can and as long as people continue to support it, we’ll keep doing it,” David Carrier said. “As long as people need to be fed and we can — we have people here that are willing to to to support that, we’ll keep doing it.”

More from this section

Motorists may not have been appreciative Saturday when the ongoing project to replace the intersection of East Beach Causeway and Demere Road with a roundabout met with heavy Memorial Day traffic, but the project is on track to finish in August.