BY KRISTINA ROSEN
Nourish Lexington: the solution for employing laid off food service workers while feeding families in need of food. The new initiative utilizes the skills and talents of recently unemployed hospitality workers to provide prepared meals to those who need the food the most.
In exchange for preparing and delivering meals, food service workers receive a $60 payment for a four-hour shift. Meals are distributed to hospitality industry families, other families in need, seniors in affordable housing apartment complexes, and children and their families through family resource coordinators. Since FCPS can no longer offer their bus bites program, this program comes at a critical time for some families.
FoodChain formed the campaign with support from the E.E. Murry Family Foundation, Keeneland and VisitLEX. Other generous donors include the Lavin Bernick Family Foundation and the Jenna and Matthew Mitchell Family Foundation.
Nourish Lexington launched at FoodChain’s Kitchen on the corner of Jefferson and West Sixth Street. FoodChain and Whitaker Ball Park are the two points of distribution for the meals, which can be picked up on Monday through Friday beginning at 5:30 pm. Athenian Grill on Ashland Avenue will also distribute meals on Monday and Tuesday in collaboration with Aramark/UK Dining. Red Mile is another meal pick-up location.
In its first full week of distribution, Nourish Lexington distributed more than 6,300 meals – including 2,300 school lunches. FoodChain has hired 20 hospitality meal preparation shift workers for the effort.
While FoodChain’s Kitchen was the first kitchen to pilot this team shift model, it doesn’t have to be the only one. Restaurants, commercial kitchens, or similar permitted venues who want to participate in the program should go to the website and fill out a form.
After Keeneland canceled its spring meet, they donated 1,500 pounds of food to the program and will give 100% of the proceeds from online sales from The Keeneland Shop and Keeneland Mercantile during the month of April to the effort.
As of April 21, Nourish Lexington has two new major financial contributors and more than a dozen in-kind or product donations. The new donors of $10,000 or more are Marksbury Family Foundation and Blue Grass Community Foundation.
Like other Lexington campaigns, this one is fueled by donations from community partners and members of the community. To apply to work a shift at the Nourish Kitchen, receive a meal or learn more about donating product or kitchen space to Nourish Lexington, visit their website.
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