A full stomach and clean hands are two things a Hawkesbury restaurant has been providing for the community lately.

Due to COVID-19 emergency restrictions, Moonshine BBQ Smokehouse on Main Street East is only open for take out and delivery right now, but the management and staff are making sure no one goes hungry.

Each week, the restaurant is preparing a different meal for people for free, with no questions asked.

Moonshine co-owner Fred Beaver said he knows many people are struggling right now with reduced employment or unemployment and he does not want them to worry about their next meal.

Beaver said he personally knows people who were concerned about how they were going to feed their families and decided that the restaurant could do something to help.

The meal being offered varies each week.  Recent fare has included macaroni and meat, spaghetti and meat sauce, and potato bacon soup.  Anyone who is hungry can stop by the restaurant or call ahead if they want to request a meal.

“Hawkesbury’s been a bunch of sweethearts to us,” said Beaver, in appreciation for the support the community has shown for Moonshine.  The restaurant recently celebrated its first anniversary of serving up homemade southern-style barbecue and Beaver said they wanted to give back to the community.

Some Moonshine customers have donated cash to help cover the cost of preparing the free meals.

Moonshine also received an extra quantity of hand sanitizer from its janitorial supplier, so Beaver decided to repackage it into smaller bottles and sell it at the counter in the restaurant.  For example, an approximately 16-ounce bottle costs $5.00.

Beaver acknowledged that business is slow due to the emergency situation, but he said, “we do what we can.”

He is hoping for changes in the emergency regulations to come soon and is relying on the ability to be innovative in how the business operates.

“We’re just happy that we’re able to stay open,” Beaver said.

Moonshine BBQ Smokehouse is located at 806 Main Street East in Hawkesbury and can be reached at 613-632-2228.