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Food to the Frontline by Rethink Food NYC

The ingenuity of NY foodies has pivoted from cooking beef to serving relief! In this time of desperation due to the Corona Virus Pandemic, chefs, restaurants and food organizations have repurposed to provide relief. Even if you can’t cook or serve, you can still help them feed the hungry and save our beloved restaurant industry at the same time!

The James Beard Foundation, the anchor of the NY food scene and the decider of the “Academy Awards of Food”, has recently established the JBF Relief Fund for the food and beverage industry. Funded by corporate and individual donations, it is providing critical financial assistance to independent restaurants who, because of the Corona Virus pandemic, need immediate financial assistance to cover fixed costs and avoid permanent closure. The first round of $15,000 grants have been made to 36 restaurants who applied within 24 hours of the fund’s establishment. The next round of grants will be made starting this week. To help them get there by donating, or to apply as a restaurateur, click the link below.

Chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, the storied restaurant on Madison Square Park in Manhattan, has teamed up with Rethink Food NYC to cook meals for healthcare workers and NY’ers in need. By taking over the kitchens of temporarily closed restaurants, this food repurposing organization and chef team are creating pop-up kitchens around the city to take the place of soup kitchens, many of which have had to close due to lack of volunteers who have had to stay home. Rethink NYC, with a kitchen and volunteer center in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, reduces food waste by collecting unused food and redistributing it to those in need.

In Suburban NYC, 30 minutes north of the city, the City of New Rochelle, which was the first community in the US to be hit with pandemic quarantine, has launched an innovative program called NourishALL — say it out loud and it even sounds like New Rochelle. Their 2-pronged program will both provide gift card sales to hurting restaurants and feed community members in need of support. 1,000 $50 gift cards are being purchased from individual restaurants funded by community donations and are being distributed to 1,000 vulnerable residents who could benefit from a delicious takeout or delivery meal. Through the “NourishALL” program, New Rochelle is demonstrating resilience and strength on the path to recovery with this model of public-private caring.

With a quarter cup of innovation, an ounce of generosity and a pinch of love, these organizations are yielding a full serving of community care. We can all help even if we can’t be on the front line (or the hot line).

Written by

“212 to You” reports on restaurant and culinary trends in NYC. Wendy is Food & Beverage Marketer, Consultant, and Restaurateur, who is always cookin’ up ideas!

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