Chefs to the Rescue of Farm

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LEBANON TOWNSHIP -- It looked like it could be the end of the road for a family farm in Wayne County. Financial troubles meant it might have to close this year, but a group of chefs are now raising money to keep "Quails R Us Plus" in business.

While Rick Franciosa is busy butchering chicken on his farm north of Honesdale, his wife Linda is helping customers with their orders of everything from eggs to meat.

The couple has "Quails R Us Plus" and until recently believed they would have to stop doing what they love.

"We kind of tried to convince ourselves this was it, we were done, we can get a job somewhere," Rick Franciosa said.

Between some health issues and setbacks on the farm, the family needed thousands of dollars to keep from foreclosing. After all, the couple met in a poultry market and have been providing food to restaurants in Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Wayne Counties for more than a decade.

"It's a struggle, you do it mainly because you like it. You hope to make some money but for the most part it's what you like," Franciosa said.

It didn't take long and the chefs who use "Quails R Us" decided to hold a farm rescue dinner at the Radisson at Lackawanna Station in Scranton on April 8.

For $100 a ticket, you can have food from some of the best restaurants in the area and help "Quails R Us" in the process.

"When you're talking someone you use on a regular basis, we have to do something," said Jeff Huntzinger, chef at the Beaumont inn in Luzerne County.

Huntzinger believes organizing the rescue dinner is for one important cause.

"For what we do, to lose a farm like that would be devastating," he said.

"I think they want us here, I think they want local stuff, they want farming to keep going on. There's not too many farmers anymore," Linda Franciosa said.

"This is what we want to do, it's way beyond money, beyond anything. To get this opportunity, I'm one of the luckiest guys in the world," Rick added.

Tickets for the farm rescue dinner on April 8 are $100.