The local grassroots initiative, Food For the Front Lines, supported both the Connecticut restaurant industry and healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, they turn their attention to local food workers with Food for Behind the Lines.
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In eight weeks, the team raised $130,000 and paid 40 Connecticut restaurants to deliver over 10,000 meals to hospitals and first responder units throughout Fairfield County. In keeping their commitment to the restaurant industry, Food For the Front Lines has become Food For Behind the Lines (FFBTL) and is focusing their effort in working with local chefs to identify those in need and then supports these workers through local, targeted food drives distributing boxes of donated and purchased foods for their families. Chefs also help purchase food from their distributors at reduced rates to help secure food donations.
“While there are food workers receiving unemployment, stimulus checks, and food stamps, there are thousands of people who are not receiving any benefits. We need to help feed our behind the lines employees who are now food insecure and need our help,” said Ria Rueda, Founder/Bread & Butter Marketing and original team member of FFTFL and Food For Behind the Lines. “To date, FFBTL has hosted three food drives and has distributed 500 food pantry boxes to unemployed food workers. A $25 donation feeds one family of four for one week.”
Popular food website CTbites has just published The Connecticut Chefs Recipes for Restaurant Relief Cookbook. The E-Cookbook features 100 recipes from popular chefs throughout Connecticut.
“The restaurant industry is in crisis and the people who have spent their lives putting food on OUR table, now find themselves food insecure,” said Stephanie Webster, Founder/Editor of CTBites and original team member of FFTFL and Food For Behind the Lines. “We created this cookbook as another means to raise money for FFBTL. Each E-Cookbook costs $25 and 100% of the proceeds will benefit FFBTL.”
FOOD FOR BEHIND THE LINES (FFBTL) works to support the local restaurant industry and feed the unemployed workers. FFBTL works with local chefs to identify those in need and then supports these workers through local, targeted food drives distributing boxes of donated and purchased foods for their families. In addition, these chefs help purchase food from their distibutors at reduced rates and help secure food donations. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to support this initiative and one hundred percent of all donations go toward the purchase of food.