Urban Meyer recently has offered his star power to an initiative to feed the less fortunate.

Editor's note: In the wake of Gov. Mike DeWine's March 15 order to close Ohio's bars and restaurants to diners because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, restaurants still were able to operate via carryout service and delivery. Check ThisWeekNEWS.com for updates on when restaurants will reopen.

Urban Meyer recently has offered his star power to an initiative to feed the less fortunate.

The former Ohio State University football coach and partner in Urban Meyer's Pint House in Dublin has joined Corso Ventures and the Make-A-Day Foundation in Doing Better Together, with the goal of raising $100,000 to feed 20,000 people.

"Columbus has been good to me," said Chris Corso, founder of Corso Ventures, the force behind several local restaurants, including Meyer's venue, 6632 Longshore St. in Dublin's Bridge Park. "We thought we'd try to help people out, even though we're not making any money."

As Gov. Mike DeWine guides the reopening of Ohio businesses in May, restaurants initially remained on the waiting list for resuming dine-in service after the governor's closure order March 15. Restaurants still were able to offer carryout and delivery services, but many had shut their doors in the wake of the March order.

Corso Ventures and Make-A-Day, which have been charitable partners for years, decided to connect on Doing Better Together after witnessing the effect that coronavirus-related shutdowns have had on such groups as the homeless and restaurant workers.

Kyle Barger, co-founder of the nonprofit Make-A-Day organization, which is based in the Short North and supports the homeless and the economically disadvantaged, said the two organizations launched the fundraising effort April 23 and by April 30 had raised more than $76,000.

"Chris Corso is a champion," Barger said. "He is one of the best business minds in central Ohio. That guy has a Rolodex as big as the governor's."

Donation packages start at $15 for a Raising Cane's combo or Corso Ventures' pizza and go up to $1,000 for a football autographed by Meyer and two tickets to meet the former coach and former players Braxton Miller, Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett at the Pint House. Food and two T-shirts are included.

Information about donation packages and meal locations is available at doingbettertogether.org. Distribution times will be based on supplies. Barger said he expects the initiative to continue for a few weeks, until the 20,000 mark is reached.

On April 30 and May 1 at the Short North Goody Boy, a Corso Ventures property at 1144 N. High St. in Columbus, Corso's staff bagged meals to go that included a homemade chicken sandwich, carrots, a bag of chips and napkins.

Craig Shackelford, a friend of Barger's and a Short North habitue, dropped by Goody Boy to say hello and enjoy a meal.

"I'm glad he's doing what he's doing," Shackelford said of Barger's outreach efforts.

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Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and related Rusty Bucket restaurants have announced the opening of select locations for curbside carryout. Rusty Bucket also was set to offer delivery.

The Cameron Mitchell locations included The Avenue in Dublin, Cap City Fine Diner and Bar in Dublin, Gahanna and Grandview Heights, Marcella's at Polaris Fashion Place and the Short North, The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek in Gahanna and Hudson 29 in Upper Arlington.

The Rusty Bucket locations included Bexley, Dublin, New Albany, Upper Arlington and Westerville.

Patrons can view menus and find specific addresses and phone numbers at cameronmitchell.com and myrustybucket.com.

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Johnson's Real Ice Cream is celebrating its 70th anniversary by donating 25 cents for every pint sold in central Ohio to A Kid Again, a nonprofit agency providing recreational therapy to children with life-threatening conditions.

Johnson's has ice cream parlors in Bexley, Dublin and New Albany, and its products can be found at such retailers as Giant Eagle, Lucky's Market and Weiland's Market. The partnership has no limit or end date.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary