There was a time during this pandemic when many in the restaurant and hospitality industries were wondering where their next meal will come from.
A charitable project for Dallas-area restaurant employees, “Staff Meal Dallas,” made up of event planners and top chefs in the city got together to do something good to take care of the people in their industry.
For 10 weeks, Staff Meal Dallas made 2,400 meals a week, breakfast and dinner, inside the Irving Convention Center for restaurant and hospitality workers in need.
With the help of generous donors and volunteers, they were able to serve some 25,000 meals during that time. It was something organizers said they felt they had to do to be a part of the solution.
“Really for us, it was, 'how do we help the industry that’s helped us? How do we feel useful, how do we keep our resumes current, all those things?' We had no idea the emotional toll it would have on us," said Emily Mantooth, Board Member for FastEvents Foundation.
"We see those folks and we love them, and we’re thinking about them, and then we would see someone that had signed up, and we were calling them, and we’re like, 'where are you this week? Are you OK?' People would come through the line, and say, ‘we got a job,’ or, ‘we graduated high school,’ all those things," Mantooth said. "They sustained us in ways we had no idea. There were many times when we were like, I’m going to go stand over here and cry for a minute and be happy. It was a two way street on the blessings for sure.”
Now that the restaurant industry is heading back to work, Staff Meal Dallas has started a new program with the goal of helping North Texas restaurants get back on their feet while still feeding those in need.
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“Staff Meal Special,” will launch the first week of July, and will allow in-need restaurant workers to pick up a 4-serving meal from a local restaurant.
Each week will feature a different restaurant and dish. If you’d like to learn more or donate: http://staffmeal.org/