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Restaurant Workers Are Getting Paid to Fight Hunger With the Houston Food Bank

Plus, One Fifth reopens in time for Mother’s Day, and more Houston dining intel

Get Shift Done workers packing boxes of food
Chad Windham for Get Shift Done

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.

New program pays hospitality workers for food bank deliveries

Get Shift Done, a new initiative that pairs hospitality employees with hunger relief non-profits, has launched in Houston. The program helps coordinate, schedule and pay hourly food service workers affected by the economic shutdown to work shifts at the Houston Food Bank for $15 an hour. The program, which launched April 29, has already closed signups due to overwhelming interest. More than 50 people reported for work on the first day of shifts.

One Fifth Mediterranean makes a comeback

Montrose spot One Fifth, Chris Shepherd’s “five restaurants in five years” project, will reopen for takeout Friday, May 8, per its Instagram account. The restaurant, which had previously shifted to a “Lightning Round” concept that would allow Shepherd and his chefs to try out a variety of cuisines, is now back to one of its most popular iterations, One Fifth Mediterranean. As such, expect dishes like hummus, housemade pita, salatim, and grilled meats, as well as a special menu for Mother’s Day that serves four. A preorder menu is available here.

City receives hundreds of complaints of businesses violating capacity guidelines

In the few days since restaurants and retail businesses were allowed to resume limited service, the City of Houston and Harris County received hundreds of complaints of businesses violating rules such as occupancy allowances. Houston Fire Chief Sam Pena told KHOU News his department had received 226 complaints and issued about 10 warnings. In addition, a website and hotline launched by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo received more than 450 complaints. At one point the website was taken down after reports that out-of-state activists were trying to hack it.

Lawsuit accuses HEB of price-gouging eggs

A federal lawsuit filed in Austin on March 30 accuses HEB and 18 other businesses of illegally raising the price of eggs following Greg Abbott’s March 13 disaster declaration, the Austin American Statesman reports. A group of shoppers represented by the lawsuit claim that HEB, along with dairy farms and wholesalers, nearly tripled the price of eggs. In a statement, HEB said that while producers did dramatically raise prices, the grocer absorbed those raises at a loss.