Louisville restaurants lean on each other during pandemic
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - During this global health crisis as it relates to COVID-19, so many people have struggled with lost wages and lost jobs.
In Louisville, the restaurant industry has really taken a hit. Restaurant capacity has been scaled back across Kentucky for months, but during that time, restaurant owners have said their priority hasn’t just been their own survival, it’s about the industry as a whole.
Restaurateurs in Louisville have been struggling, but they’re also leaning on each other. Chef Anoosh Shariat of Anoosh Bistro and Noosh Nosh wrote a cookbook, of which the sales will go toward his own non-profit as well as another Louisville based charity, Apron Inc.
"We were totally devastated," said Shariat, describing the moment restaurants were forced to close their doors.
According to Apron President Gary Fox, restaurants have been stepping up to provide help to restaurant workers in the Derby City.
“They do it so willingly,” said Fox. “We just say it’s time for whatever fundraiser, and they say, ‘We’re there.”
Another fundraiser for Apron has been Chef in a Box, a program where half the money goes to a different restaurant that prepares a meal every week and the other half goes to Apron.
Apron uses funds to help restaurant workers in need. Anoosh Shariat has seen these benefits first hand for an employee of his. “She had an accident,” he explained. “They paid three months’ worth of rent for this person. That’s a lifeline. That’s what it’s all about.”
Apron is a hyperlocal charity and focuses solely on Louisville.
“I get grant applications from all over the country, and it breaks my heart having to say no to them,” said Gary Fox, “but we’re a Louisville charity and that’s why we’re here.”
Fox said during this time, they've been able to fundraise and give back over $1,000 every week.
They have given out over 500 grants in the past few months, a number that’s more than double the amount grants given out over the last few years.
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