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A Houston Nonprofit Pledges to Make 10,000 Meals a Week for Hospitality Workers

Plus, how a food hall is reacting to the coronavirus crisis

Photo: Second Servings of Houston/Facebook

Welcome to AM Intel in the time of coronavirus, a round-up of the city’s newest bits of restaurant-related intel. Follow Eater on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date details on how COVID-19 is impacting the city’s dining scene.

Second Servings Rolls Out “Dinner’s On Us” Program

Houston food rescue organization Second Servings is committing to serving 10,000 meals a week to furloughed and unemployed hospitality workers in Houston. The nonprofit is partnering with long-time supporters Hess Corporation and Sysco for the “Dinner’s On Us” initiative.

“We saw the impact first-hand last month, when we rescued valuable perishable food from hotels, event venues, business cafeterias, schools, and restaurant kitchens that were forced to close,” Second Servings founder Barbara Bronstein said in a press release. “We created this program because we wanted to help the people who serve the community and donate surplus food to us all year long.”

The contact-free, drive-through only meals for hospitality workers will be distributed every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in a parking lot at 702 Avenida De Las Americas in Houston. Find offerings like chicken and biscuits, red beans and rice, or penne pasta with sausage, with each meal providing servings for seven to eight people.

In order to pick up a meal, hospitality workers are asked to show a recent paystub displaying the name of their restaurant, hotel, caterer, banquet venue, sports venue, or convention center employer. Distribution will continue for as long as funding allows.

To volunteer or donate financially, check out Second Servings’ website.

How a food hall is reacting to the coronavirus crisis

The Houston Business Journal interviewed Bravery Chef Hall’s Shepard Ross to see how the food hall business has changed in the past month. He’s been selling both fresh and frozen food for takeout and delivery, along with pastry staples like flour and spices to meet customers’ needs. “Your greatest strength in a food hall is that it’s a big place for people to congregate,” Ross told HBJ. “During a pandemic it then gets flipped into your biggest weakness. It’s kind of weird. We’re like in the upside-down world, literally, where left is right, up is down.”

How to donate a sweet treat to healthcare workers

Haute Sweet Patisserie is pushed pause on its retail operations but the local bakery is donating baked goods to local hospitals, medical facilities, and first responder stations, the Advocate reports. Customers can chip in, and every $25 donation comes with a deal on a gift card.