Sixteen tons — that's a lot of food.

That's what has been donated to Crosslines Ministries, 320 S. School Ave., in connection with JOMO Restaurant Week over the past four years. Crosslines is an emergency food pantry, but it also provides services such as rent and utility assistance, resource referral, and household and hygiene items. It also is home to a 45,000-square-foot garden and a greenhouse that provides fresh produce in the summer.

"It's our biggest food drive of the year," said Rodney Rambo, director of Crosslines. "But it also is a platform for us to share our vision and mission here at Crosslines, and we really appreciate that."

JOMO Restaurant Week will take place the last week of January. This year will be the biggest year yet for this event. In the past, about 20 locally owned restaurants have participated. This year, 25 have signed up. When you bring nonperishable food items to these restaurants during JOMO Restaurant Week, you will be eligible for specials and discounts. Your name also will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize worth $500.

"The grand prize is a $20 gift card to each of these restaurants. There will be more gift cards than ever before," said Erryn Jones, a promoter of the event. "People can help fill the Crosslines pantry and support locally owned restaurants at the same time."

Check out the Facebook page for JOMO Restaurant Week for a complete list of participating restaurants. Imagine $20 gift cards to 25 of the best restaurants in Joplin.

When I look at the list, I can visualize what I would order at each of these restaurants. I would get the salmon at Instant Karma, the chicken tenders at Social BTB, the stuffed portobello mushrooms at Tropicana, the baklava at M&M Bistro, the fried chicken at Granny Shaffer's and the Bennie at the Bruncheonette. I could go on and on because I am familiar with these places.

Crosslines, founded in 1982 by a cluster of local churches that pooled their resources, now provides assistance to about 1,900 people per month from Joplin, Carl Junction and Webb City.

New home

Binky Guy Textiles, 512 N. Main St., is moving into new quarters at 315 S. Cox Ave. It's near Anderson Engineering and the new Empire Market on East Fourth Street.

Binky Guy specializes in the screen printing of customized T-shirts. The shop also handles banners, yard signs and requests for embroidery.

The 2011 tornado forced the shop to relocate from 26th Street to North Main Street.

First Watch update

A worker at the new First Watch Daytime Cafe told me last week that the opening of the restaurant is still a month out. The restaurant, which specializes in breakfast, brunch and lunch, has taken over the former Ruby Tuesday property at 3231 S. Range Line Road.

The restaurant is hiring servers and cooks. You can apply online at, or text "bacon" to 242424. The company received an award in 2018 that recognized First Watch as a good place to work.

First Watch is a restaurant chain based in University Park, Florida. The name is a nautical reference to the first work shift aboard a ship, as First Watch restaurants are only open from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The company has 6,000 employees spread across more than 200 locations in 26 states.

If you have news about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, call 417-623-3480, ext. 7250; email or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 417-623-8598.

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