Beaugard’s Southern Bar B Que – a staple of the Wilmington restaurant scene – is the latest restaurant to begin providing meals to area seniors through Council on Aging’s (COA) comfort meal program.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, COA has been providing “comfort meals” to older adults to address food insecurity and quality of life. Because many seniors are not able to leave their homes, they feel forgotten and isolated.
To help ease the monotony felt by many older adults, COA sought out partnerships with local restaurants to bring these comfort meals to older adults – particularly low-income older adults living in senior apartment buildings in parts of COA’s service area. Nearly 34,000 comfort meals have been delivered since April, including 1,600 in Clinton County.
Beaugard’s began providing meals for COA’s comfort meal program in October. On specified days of the week, COA home-delivered meal provider, Clinton County Community Action Program, picks up meals from Beaugard’s – including pulled chicken, green beans, potato salad and a roll – and delivers them to home-delivered meal recipients.
Being part of COA’s comfort meal program is important to owner Marty Beaugard, and his family.“I’m excited, we’re going to do some nutritious meals,” he said. “I pray that I will be a senior one day. You know, nothing is guaranteed. We’re going through some tough times, and we’ve got to take care of our people. That’s the bottom line. We can’t forget about our seniors; we’ve got to take care of them.”
For 20 years, Clinton County has embraced Beaugard’s Memphis-style BBQ, which is known for using a vinegar-based sauce as it cooks for hours on the outdoor smoker.
Marty and Dianne Beaugard took over the restaurant from Beaugard’s parents in 2002. Marty Beaugard followed in his father’s footsteps and is the chef and Bar B Que master, while Dianne handles the scheduling and administrative side of the business. Their adult children, Marty Jr. and Dylan, helped develop the website and consulted on the menu.
“Partnering with locally-owned restaurants is a win-win during the pandemic,” said Council on Aging CEO, Suzanne Burke. “Not only are we bringing good, local food to older adults who’ve been homebound during the pandemic, but we’re also able to support a business with a decades-long tradition of serving Clinton County residents.”
Beaugard is a 20-year Air Force veteran. Throughout his military career, he lived all over the world, including England, Germany, Korea, Washington D.C. and Nebraska.
His experiences led him to Wilmington, and as the president of the Wilmington School Board, Beaugard is proud to be a Clinton County resident. For this video discussing his involvement with COA’s comfort meal program, Beaugard wore a mask that read, Clinton County Strong. “Our customers were very supportive and loyal to us when we were closed because of COVID – they supported us and they came to our drive-through.”
More About COA’s Comfort Meal Program
COA’s comfort meal program is a community partnership. The meals are paid for by COA – via federal funds to expand meal service to older adults during the pandemic. In addition to Beaugard’s, the following restaurants have prepared meals for the program: LaRosa’s Pizzeria, Frisch’s, Taste of Belgium, C&M BBQ Grille, Chef Anthony Jordan, La Soupe, and Neal’s Famous BBQ. Other COA service providers, including Cincinnati Area Senior Services and Central Connections, have also helped to deliver meals through this program.