HOUSTON – Local non-profit Houston Shift Meal is stepping up to the plate to provide free meals to unemployed or furloughed restaurant workers hit hard by the pandemic.
The initiative was created by publicist Jonathan Beitler and sommelier Cat Nguyen, who met while helping with relief efforts during Hurricane Harvey.
"Our concept is we collect donations from the public, and we give those straight back to restaurants in order to prepare free meals for these out of work employees to come and pick up, whether it’s at their location or a distribution site that we set up at various places throughout the city. " said Beitler. “It’s a way for us to allow for them to not have to think about where their next meal is coming from and rather focus on more pressing items like paying their health insurance and paying their rent.”
“People are lined up 30 minutes before we start the event and it’s just heartbreaking to see so much need,” said Nguyen.
Houston Shift Meal is working with over 25 different restaurant partners to prepare food. People can register on their Facebook to pick up their meal on any given day throughout the week. To date they will have distributed over 16.000 meals, and will continue the project as long as donations keep coming in.
If you’d like to make a donation or apply to be a restaurant partner click here.