Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 3/25/20
#ATLFAMILYMEAL is a community of Atlanta area chefs, restaurant owners, hospitality workers, and business/non-profit leaders rallying together to help the Atlanta hospitality community and its people survive and thrive. In the hospitality industry, “family meal” is a universal slang that encompasses the sacred time before or after a shift where the entire restaurant staff comes together, breaks bread over a humble, hearty meal, enjoys each other’s company, and finds their center. Chefs and hospitality groups who are actively participating in this effort include Gina and Linton Hopkins, Electric Hospitality (Golden Eagle, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Muchacho), King of Pops, Fox Bros., and more.
MISSION + VISION: The mission of #ATLFAMILYMEAL is to help feed, nurture, and support hospitality workers during and immediately after the COVID-19 crisis by activating and connecting the Atlanta restaurant community unlike ever before. There are more than 500,000 hospitality industry workers in the state of Georgia, and more than half of this group live and work in the metro Atlanta area. The majority of these hospitality industry workers live paycheck to paycheck and have found themselves jobless overnight.
This initiative involves a united front across the industry supply chain, with extraordinary teamwork, communication, and a commitment to attain a common goal––doing whatever it takes to feed the ATL restaurant family. #ATLFAMILYMEAL is a newly-formed nonprofit with end-to-end logistics capabilities actively seeking funding, sponsorships, and in-kind donations to purchase, prepare, and deliver free “family meals” to the doorstep of hospitality workers across the metro Atlanta area, potentially employing hundreds (or thousands) of out-of-work hospitality professionals in the process.
ABOUT: Spearheaded by Michael Lennox, CEO & Founder of Electric Hospitality (Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Golden Eagle, Muchacho), the #ATLFAMILYMEAL movement is focused on building a virtual dinner table for the community to gather, share ideas, leverage resources, feed, and provide support for hospitality workers experiencing distress. ATLFAMILYMEAL, Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit that is in the process of seeking its 501(c)(3) designation, and is actively building a leadership team and raising funds to support the following areas of focus:
(1) building and nurturing an online community engaging around ways to help the hospitality community survive and thrive
(2) aggregating, combining, and deploying existing assets in the community (food, money, production space, hospitality leadership and personnel, delivery vehicles) and pairing them with sophisticated logistics/distribution software to route “family meals” across the city to feed tens of thousands of hospitality workers in their homes in metro Atlanta
(3) supporting Georgia Restaurant Association’s (GRA) vital advocacy work on behalf of the restaurant and hospitality industry
HOW WILL IT WORK:
- #ATLFAMILYMEAL will take existing resources in the community (food, people, money, delivery vehicles) and connect them in a new way to create temporary links in the supply chain and local economy that have disintegrated during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, the team of industry leaders and experts is working together to leverage existing resources in the community that are not currently being utilized for food production (e.g. food product in storage, restaurant/catering/banquet kitchen facilities, catering and food-service delivery vans/trucks, etc.) by raising money to reactivate these resources and the talented workers in these industries.
- Interested restaurants and hospitality businesses can sign up with #ATLFAMILYMEAL by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, share available resources (i.e., kitchen space, food product, staff, catering equipment, etc.) and #ATLFAMILYMEAL provides administrative and logistics support, and access to specialty equipment, as well as a variety of online tools and resources to help them feed their staff.
- #ATLFAMILYMEAL then uses donated funds to buy food, pay workers to prepare the food, and pay delivery drivers to deliver the food directly to unemployed restaurant and hospitality workers in the metro Atlanta area, all while following strict federal and state health and safety guidelines over food production and distribution.
CONNECT: In the spirit of hospitality and connection, help build the virtual dinner table by using the #ATLFAMILYMEAL hashtag online and on social media to build awareness for the movement, share ideas, connect dots, leverage resources, and show support for those experiencing distress in the hospitality industry. While we may not physically be together, we can work alongside one another to emerge stronger on the other side. Join the coalition on Facebook (@ATLFamilyMeal) and use the #ATLFAMILYMEAL hashtag to share ideas or resources to support this movement. For more information, please visit www.atlfamilymeal.org.
DONATE/SUPPORT/VOLUNTEER: Donations are being accepted online through www.atlfamilymeal.org, and 100% of donated proceeds will go toward helping feed and support hospitality workers in the metro Atlanta area. #ATLFAMILYMEAL is also actively seeking and receiving in-kind donations of the following: perishables, non-perishables, food packaging, supplies, delivery capabilities (i.e., vans/trucks). Do you have expertise in one of the following domains: Logistics, Packaging, Distribution, Marketing, Communications, HR, Legal, Accounting, Design? #ATLFAMILYMEAL is also actively seeking part-time volunteers with specialized backgrounds in core functions that support #ATLFAMILYMEAL’s mission and work. Inquiries and interest: please email email@example.com.