We’ve been so moved by recent local GoFundMe requests for restaurant and food workers. The humanity on display is overwhelming. If you have the means, we encourage you to donate as generously as you can to crisis support, both financially and with your time. This can involve volunteering, but it can also just mean making phone calls from the safety of your home. For starters, we’re following chef Dan Barber’s suggestions to contact your state and local government and tell them three things: “1. Provide emergency employment benefits to all hourly and salaried workers who have been laid off or lost their pay for the length of this crisis. 2. Waive their payroll tax. 3. Endorse rent and loan abatement for workers.”⠀
As much as we’re rooted in our local community, we want to take a moment to acknowledge the food accessibility and crisis support that’s popping up in New York City, where many members of the Applestone community live, as well as nationally. Please continue to send us information on any initiatives you’re seeing or maybe even leading that we should know about. Everything is evolving with such speed and we want to share as many of these gorgeous community efforts as we can right here.
Stay safe everyone.
The truly amazing RWCF has established a Restaurant Workers Covid-19 Crisis Relief Fund to immediately direct money to organizations leading on-the-ground efforts in the restaurant community. The fund is structured to address three needs: 50% will go to Southern Smoke Foundation (below) to support people in the restaurant industry who are in immediate financial crisis, 25% to support the organizations working to provide crisis relief such as mental health support, childcare, and food pantries, and 25% to establish a no-interest, no-collateral loan program for small businesses that need help getting back up and running after this crisis has passed. A worthwhile effort to join, if you’re able. Here’s a petition RWCF is helping circulate to save America’s restaurants.
This emergency crisis relief fund is available to all who touch our food chain — from farmers to restaurant workers and everyone in between. Southern Smoke is a nonprofit crisis relief foundation based out of Houston founded by chef Chris Shepherd to raise funds for charitable purposes. It’s principally for support and assistance for those in the food and beverage community and their suppliers during times of crisis. Southern Smoke has donated more than $1.6 million to date—both directly to people in need via an emergency relief fund and to organizations that represent the needs of people in our industry. Individuals seeking direct assistance should go to the Southern Smoke Application Form to submit their information and needs.
NEW YORK CITY
This non-profit recovers and upcycles nutritious excess food to provide low or no-cost meals to underserved communities in the city, including families in need. In order to help with Covid-19 emergency relief efforts, Rethink Food NYC is increasing their crisis support operations.
A well-known organization, City Harvest is stepping up to rescue and deliver even more food than usual right now. They’re meeting increased demand during this unprecedented time when people are losing jobs, supermarkets are struggling to keep shelves stocked, and soup kitchens and food pantries are grappling with health concerns. They’re especially focussed on making sure children and families have enough food now that the NYC public schools closed; many children have lost access to school meals. Donations will go a long way towards helping them continue their considerable efforts.
There are free meals for those in need in Queens through World Central Kitchen’s #ChefsForAmerica initiative in two locations. For more information, call 718-458-5367. WCK is the organization founded by chef José Andrés.
This grassroots group of volunteers from communities considered low risk for getting Covid-19 is working now to bring groceries and supplies to those who are more high risk, specifically the elderly and immunocompromised. But anyone in need can reach out for help. They minimize direct contact in their deliveries as much as possible. They’re also providing much-needed contact to help with isolation. Volunteers are happy to chat and connect all while arranging deliveries over the phone.