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Helpful Resources for Workers & Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

 

Throughout the U.S.A. the hospitality and foodservice community needs our support in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs have served as community gathering places for centuries. They are first to open their doors and service their communities in times of need and a place where we celebrate special occasions from graduations to anniversaries.

We recall how the restaurant community in New York City and throughout the world united to support citizens and first responders and raise funds to help families who lost loved ones during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Now in the wake of the coronovirus pandemic, our restaurant community needs our support more than ever, especially with so many service workers laid off due to temporary closures and reduced staffing.

In the spirit of support, we are compiling and sharing lists of reliable resources and articles that can help industry workers. Since this is a developing situation, we will continue to update and post resources on our Facebook Page and Twitter.

Journalist Andrea Strong has compiled a list of local and nationwide resources (U.S.A.) to provide relief for laid-off workers for Food & Wine and continues to update it. Read and Share This List

Also by Strong, here is an article in Food & Wine on supportive charitable efforts. Read; Share; Donate

The nonprofit Restaurant Workers Community Foundation has started a COVID-19 emergency relief fund.  Read, Share, Donate  

SupportRestaurants.org is a collective of restaurant industry professionals who have set a national initiative in motion to get funds into the hands of restaurants, even if they are temporarily closed. A Dining Bond works like a savings bond, where you can purchase a "bond" at a value rate to be redeemed for face value (for example, a $100 bond for $75) at a future date. Read more here

The U.S. Bartenders Guild (USBG) has a charitable foundation to provide aid to bar industry workers in need. Info

Many people who work in the industry lack the benefits of full-time employed workers, such as sick pay, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation. The nonprofit Gig Workers Collective has published this state-by-state list of resources to help. Read, share

Other ways to support: Order takeout. Buy a restaurant gift card. Stock up on wine.
Restaurants in New York and elsewhere may be closed to the public, but many are offering takeout and deliveries. Under a recently announced initiative to help businesses, restaurants in New York can also deliver wine, beer and cocktails. Read this Eater.com  article for more info and guidelines.

Other initiatives to support businesses are happening throughout the U.S. but it is still in an unfortunate catch-up mode for those facing job losses. The National Restaurant Association is providing special industry-specific guidance on its website. www.restaurant.org 

A Facebook Hospitality Industry Alliance | COVID-19 group has been established to provide an open forum to support and share ways to help members of the hospitality community. If you need help to join, let us know  Info

The above is a shortlist and continues to evolve. It is also specific to the U.S.A. We know many of our readers and listeners are in Europe. We want to let you know, we stand with you in solidarity throughout the world.

This week's edition of The Connected Table LIVE addresses ways to support our industry. We also discuss food safety when cooking at home. We will resume with scheduled guests on March 25. Click lunk below to listen and stream.

Stay safe. We are all in this together.

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INSPIRE RESTAURANTS AND CHEFS

The Food & Beverage Industry Nourishes Souls in Times of Sorrow

It seems like the last several weeks have delivered us one disaster after another starting with Hurricane Harvey in Texas; then Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean and Florida, and now the tragic massacre in Las Vegas. It’s hard to be rah rah about this and that culinary event or new product launch when so many people have died, are displaced or hungry. Hearts are heavy; souls are aching, and we try to be sensitive to it all while going about our daily business.

While politicians talk among themselves to try to work out answers, the nation simmers and questions starting with “Why?” and “How long?” and “How much more can we take of this?”  Congress could take months and years to make decisions. But the food and beverage industry can make a difference in just a few weeks.

Source World Central Kitchen  Website: worldcentralkitchen.org

Leave it to chefs like José Andrés and Jose Enrique to arrange a team to cook thousands of meals for the displaced and hungry in Puerto Rico while the island waits for food supplies to be adequately distributed in hard hit areas.

Leave it to Ti Adelaide Martin, and Alex Brennan- Martin to spearhead a fundraising effort with the Louisiana Restaurant Association and Greater New Orleans Foundation to help hospitality workers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, raising over $160,000. And that amount does not include the nationwide Dineout that took place on October 2  with dozens of restaurants to raise even more funds for this cause.

Leave it to bar community activists like Speed Rack Co-Founder and Bartender Lynnette Marrero, Journalist Jenny Adams, and Alba Huerta, Owner/Operator of Julep in Houston, TX, to rally their colleagues to organize “NYC LOVES TX & FL”  on September 24 to raise over $60,000 for the John Besh Foundation for disaster relief.


These just a few small servings of the large effort this industry does, and continues to do, to help humanity. When tragedy strikes, the food, beverage and hospitality industry cooks up a plan to do something and does not drag its heels. We stir the pot where others cannot. Maybe the Executive Branch could learn a few management trucs from Executive Chefs, Restaurateurs and Bar Owners. Perhaps we need a Commander- in -Chef.

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Her Greatist Legacy Will Be Helping To Feeding NYC’s Homebound Elderly

Usually when we think of malnutrition our thoughts drift  to impoverished areas of the United States or overseas to Third World countries. Rarely do we think about New York City much less a neighbor in your building.

But the reality is New York City is home to nearly 1.3 million senior citizens age 60 years and older. Many of them are hungry…for food and for companionship.  The same goes for other cities, not just New York. It could be your elderly neighbor down the street who has mobility issues or weakened memory for whom cooking is difficult and eating is no longer pleasurable alone. It’s not always about living on a fixed income or below the poverty level, though this is a problem. Many elderly are isolated and have no one to talk to.

According to a 1993 study by the Urban Institute* nearly five million elderly Americans (age 60 and over) experience “food insecurity” which means not getting enough to eat. In fact, 55% of seniors admitted to hospitals are suffering from malnutrition.

The situation is growing as Americans age. According to a December 1997 U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness* 65% of 29 cities surveyed reported requests for food assistance by elderly individuals increase by an average of nine percent that year.

I’ve written about malnutrition among cancer patients and within under served and impoverished communities where lack of quality food is a problem. With the elderly you wonder, “Don’t they have family to take care of them?” The answer is too frequently “No.”

Mary is one of the many homebound elderly who receive meals delivered by Citymeals-on-Wheels

Restaurant Critic and bestselling author, Gael Greene, has lived the life many of us dream about dining in Manhattan’s best restaurants and traveling the world eating for a living. But she couldn’t shake the fact that while her life was a banquet, she had “invisible neighbors” who may be starving, both for food and companionship.

With the late author and culinary teacher, James Beard,  Gael created Citymeals-on-Wheels, one of New York City’s and the nation’s leading non-profits that addresses malnutrition among the elderly by providing. Citymeals-on-Wheels mission statement is to “provide a continuous lifeline of nutritious food and human company to homebound elderly New Yorkers in need, helping them to live with dignity in their own familiar homes and communities.”