Restaurants that have had to close as a result of the coronavirus outbreak are now donating their food to local food banks, shelters, staffers and the public, according to Eater. Many restaurant owners find themselves with perishable food items and uneaten food; they’re reaching out to food banks and charities.
One restaurant owner in Michigan, Amy Jean Thompson, had a client cancel an event after the food was prepped. “We just want you to donate the food to someone who needs it,” the client said. A shelter administrator told Thompson that, “all of her volunteers are canceling, so she doesn’t have people to cook food”–Thompson’s client’s food was used for Friday dinner. “This is a happy ending to a situation,” Thompson said. Another Michigan restaurant owner realized her employees needed the help. “Quite a few staff members have expressed that they just don’t have the income to spend the money on food,” due to fewer tips, said Stephanie Byrd.
Byrd sent out an email telling employees to come pick up perishable items. In Houston, an organization that picks up from restaurants said it collected 13,000 pounds of fresh food and redistributed it to more than 90 local charities. Others are seeing a big change in their donations as well.