Louisville chef’s relief program goes nationwide

One Louisville chef is feeding restaurant workers nationwide through a new assistance program. Chef Edward Lee’s Restaurant Workers Relief Program is providing food and supplies to hospitality industry workers laid off due to COVID-19 daily.

The LEE Initiative partnered with Maker’s Mark to get the relief program off the ground. Crowdfunding led to thousands of dollars in donations to create relief centers in restaurants in 16 U.S. cities. The program has already served more than 50,000 hot meals to service industry workers and their families.

The Restaurant Workers Relief Program, which started out of Lee’s 610 Magnolia restaurant in Louisville in mid-March, packs hundreds of to-go meals for out-of-work restaurant staff to pick up and take home at each relief center. Other supplies that have been donated, like canned goods and toilet paper, are also distributed when available. In Kentucky, restaurant workers can visit 610 Magnolia in Louisville or Great Bagel & Bakery in Lexington to get free meals.

The staff at each relief center utilizes donated goods to make hundreds of meals each day. Many local businesses have donated food and supplies, including the Omni Louisville Hotel which gave several truckloads of goods when it closed its restaurant, market and banquet operations last month.

For more information on the LEE Initiative, visit https://leeinitiative.org/.

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