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Even as the restaurant business struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic, Megan and Joe Romano considered what they could do to help others.

As the owners of Urban Kitchen, they wanted to use their resources. Beginning Wednesday, Urban Kitchen is donating free meals to anyone in need.

“It just seemed the right thing to do given that we have a skillset that can feed people,” Megan Romano said. “We just like helping out in any way we can.”

From 3 to 5 p.m. daily, Urban Kitchen plans to have meals available for people who call between noon and 2 p.m. to place their order. The restaurant has stayed open for takeout and Romano added that she values finding ways to keep busy.

Doing that while providing for the community, she said, is rewarding.

“We’re fortunate that we can help people celebrate in great times when they’ve got something special or in hard times,” Romano said. “It’s kind of the common denominator that brings us all together.”

Prior to Wednesday, the Romanos had already been partnering with other restaurants and organizations to put meals together to donate. They also own Nina’s Tacos and Tequila, which paired with University Burger to each provide 100 meals per week to Bozeman Health workers.

On Saturdays, the Romanos also served people in the hospitality industry navigating difficult circumstances. Then HomeBase Partners, which owns the West Mendenhall Street building of the Romanos’ two restaurants, thought to widen the offerings and is paying for the meals through May.

HomeBase Partners developer Andy Holloran complimented the work of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank and wanted to add another source for food. He aims to serve up to about 250 meals per day.

“We wanted to do our small part,” Holloran said. “We’re seeing people without work. We’re seeing tremendous business disruption. We felt this was a way to at least provide a quality meal.”

As the efforts have continued, Romano has been pleased with the feedback she’s received.

“We’ve gotten messages from people that are actually on the front lines saying we so appreciated that, it made our day,” Romano said.

She now hopes she can make more people’s days.

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Paul Schwedelson can be reached at or 406-582-2670. Follow him on Twitter