This New Columbus Nonprofit Is Working To Feed Unemployed Service Industry Workers And Their Families

In another example of pure, human goodness, Columbus service industry folks can expect a helping hand soon.

A group of restaurant industry veterans, including Matthew Heaggans, Letha Pugh, Catie Randazzo, and Reed Woogerd, are launching Service! Relief for Hospitality Workers. The nonprofit has taken up the mission to feed unemployed industry workers in their families throughout Franklin County.

Service! will be soliciting, collecting and preparing food for distribution, with the goal of providing 2,000 meals a week for displaced workers.

Food will be produced from a licensed commercial kitchen or restaurant and schedule pickups from satellite locations to get food to those who need it as soon as possible. Offerings could include a food box program and an emergency food carryout program, among other potential social service needs that provide opportunities for self-sufficiency.

“We’re a group of restaurant workers fighting to help in the best way we know how—feeding people,” Pugh says.

As the COVID-19 health crisis grows at a rapid pace, conservative numbers show over 125,000 service-industry workers have been displaced from their jobs in the state of Ohio.

“This virus has devastated the hospitality industry and our people are vulnerable in ways we never imagined. Although unemployment benefits are helping, it is not a full wage replacement, so folks living near the poverty line have dropped below it,” Heaggans says. “Many of them have families and they all need help now.”

Service! is working to quickly establish a donation network of local growers, retailers, wholesalers, and preparers around Franklin County, as well as to acquire startup funding through corporate avenues, private charities, and governmental financial support. Columbus food businesses are pitching in to help, including The Butcher & Grocer, which has loaned a truck, and Bake Me Happy, which has assisted in providing technical support for the group’s preordering system.

via Bonfire

The group is accepting individual donations, as well, and sales of a Service! T-shirt through Bonfire.com will benefit the cause.

If you’d like more info about Service!, you can visit their website here.

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