coronavirus

Fort Worth Chef Prepares to Serve Free Hot Meals

Tim Love closed 14 restaurants and laid off more than 350

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Numbers from the Texas Restaurant Association show a million jobs in Texas could be lost with restaurants across the state closed to protect the public in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fort Worth-based restaurateur Tim Love closed all 14 of his independent restaurants and told NBC 5 he laid off more than 350 employees this past week.

He’ll keep paying his management team of 46, including benefits, and will now shift his work to helping feed those who've lost their jobs and are in need of help.

“As I told my team, I want to reflect back and say, 'how do we help others in this time of need?' 'Cause really that's what's gonna get us through, gonna build our spirits,” Love said. 

“I’m more concerned about people who don't have money and who don't have jobs and don't have the capability to have income. We need to make sure they at least get a meal,” he said.

In an Instagram post, Love “vowed to take care of those who are in more dire straits by providing meals to those in need.”

View this post on Instagram

Yesterday was literally the hardest day of my entire professional career.  We closed all of our restaurants indefinitely and we laid off 352 employees - people who have worked with us for short and long periods of time. The respect I have for your commitment and hard work makes this note all the harder to write. While I would never have imagined this, what we are facing is a very real and a deeply sad reality. I had to give our employees the chance to let the government do what it is designed to do - which is to help those in need during such desperate times. . I am also pledging to do the same by holding on to my entire management team of 46 employees and their benefits. This is a risky move in these times but my goal is to try to keep the company intact so that all 352 of our employees have a place to come back to when this crisis passes. It will end, but only if we ALL ARE RESPONSIBLE and stay home and practice social distancing. . I have also vowed to take care of those who are in more dire straits by providing meals to those in need. We will have a hot lunch and dinner program available every weekday from 12-2pm and 4-6pm behind 713 N Main Street (starting 3/23). If you are in need of a meal because you have been laid off or if you are dependent on school lunches or just plain don’t have the means. Please come by and we will give you what you need as long as we can. . Lastly, at http://cheftimlove.com we are providing heat and serve meals for four people for $150 delivered to your door. Each meal will feed a family of FOUR. All proceeds will benefit the hot meal program mentioned above. I would also like to thank Ben E Keith Foods for aiding in the effort as well. . Stay home, stay safe and stay healthy. God bless all of us in these terribly challenging times! Most importantly, as a husband, father and employer, please know that I’m as concerned about the future as we all are. My team and I are fully dedicated to helping those most in need in the days ahead. We are stronger together and we must listen to public health officials in order to minimize the impact to our community and to one day soon emerge far stronger. . Godspeed & God bless you all

A post shared by Tim Love (@cheftimlove) on

He’ll do that by offering those without resources free hot lunch and dinner every weekday starting Monday, March 23, for as long as possible.

“I’m thinking about kids who don't have lunch because they're not in school. I’m thinking about the labor force in our restaurants and hospitality industry who have been laid off and usually operate on cash. I’m thinking about senior citizens who depend on senior centers to get their meals,” Love explained. 

Food distributor Ben E. Keith is joining Love’s Community Hot Meal Program which is funded through sales four family meals for four at a cost of $150 family and delivered to customers’ doors. Love says all proceeds will benefit his free meal program.

Love says, as a husband, father and employer, he is concerned about the future but also believes “in times like this, people need to think, ‘how can they help people who are worse off than them?’ If we all do that and we all follow the rules, we'll get to the end of this. And when we get to the end of, it's gonna be great. And there is an end. We just don't quite know when it is yet, so we need to hunker down.”

COMMUNITY HOT MEAL PROGRAM

LUNCH: 12 p.m to 2 p.m.
DINNER: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Behind 713 N. Main St.
Fort Worth, TX 76164 

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