NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Restaurants are slowly reopening, but many employees are still out of work. A new initiative called “Food for Behind the Lines” wants to help these workers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“Every $25 that we raise goes towards creating a pantry box of food that we can give to the unemployed workers,” said Stephanie Webster, Editor in Chief CT Bites and a volunteer for FFBTL.
The initiative works with chefs throughout the state to identify those in need and distributes these pantry boxes at local food drives.
Funds are raised through the initiative’s Go Fund Me account and also through an e-cookbook, created in partnership with CT Bites, featuring recipes from some of Connecticut’s favorite chefs.
“The goal is that as we continue to raise money, that we can just continue,” Webster explained.
The initiative is heading to cities all over Connecticut, this Tuesday a food drop will be held at Tavern on State, a restaurant in New Haven.
Having laid off her entire staff, owner and chef Emily Mingrone said she knows how important this program is.
“A lot of my staff has families that they are probably struggling to feed,” she explained. “So, I just hope they can feed their family with this and have renewed hope going forward.”
Mingrone reached out to other New Haven restaurants to find more employees who need the help, and the need was there — 200 unemployed workers were identified for the food drop, which is operating on a referral basis and is not open to the public.
Webster said the sheer volume of people who need the help is why this initiative was started, and why it will continue.
“We hope it’s a temporary initiative, but we will continue to support them as long as they need us to do so.”