Boston Herald: Shuttered vacation spots give back to the community | Rhode Island Commerce

Shuttered vacation spots give back to the community

March 26, 2020 at 12:40 a.m.

Right now, we can’t zip off to our favorite travel spot. Most are shuttered; all are in some kind of reduced mode of operation. And we’ve all been advised to stay home.

But that does not mean our favorite destinations are taking this sitting down. In fact, many of our favorite places are busy doing for others. There are many examples, here are a few:

off the menu foodtruckOcean House, Watch Hill, R.I.: One of the extra special things about a visit to the Ocean House (and there are many, Taylor Swift being their next door neighbor is just one of them), is the food. With top-notch chefs and their teams putting out great fare, there’s almost nothing like tucking into one of their meals on the terrace, in the expansive dining room with sweeping ocean views and, of course, via room service.

While all that is on hold, the hotel’s team is doing something remarkable: bringing that same gourmet touch to neighbors in need around the area. In light of temporary school closures in Rhode Island due to COVID-19, Ocean House Management Collection (consisting of Relais & Chateaux Ocean House and Watch Hill Inn in Watch Hill, Weekapaug Inn in Weekapaug, R.I., and the Inn at Hastings Park in Lexington) will be delivering free lunches to local children 16 and under.

The collection’s food truck, dubbed Off the Menu, sets up at Westerly Skating Rink three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., offering a selection of nutritious meals to Westerly area communities. While the options will vary daily, the Forbes five-starred culinary team will distribute sandwiches, salads, soups, fruit and more. The meals are free to anyone 16 and under and will be served at least through April 1. Sister property the Inn at Hastings Park is looking to do the same in the Lexington area. Details can be found on the resorts’ Facebook pages.

India Restaurant, Providence, R.I.: Driving to Providence for a night on the town and an epic dinner is a great New England outing choice. While restaurants struggle to make things work, many are focusing on helping others now. India Restaurant on Hope Street (, a 25-year Providence institution under the leadership of Amar Singh, is offering free to-go meals to nurses, firefighters, police officers and other workers on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak. Employees of the restaurant set up a kiosk outside with buffet-style food and a large banner reading “Free meals for frontliners.” The free meals will be offered daily. The restaurant is also open for takeout and delivery, so you can support this effort.