Giving Kitchen supports food service workers through pandemic

Four members of the Giving Kitchen staff are pictured facing away from the camera, wearing their aprons like capes.
Four members of the Giving Kitchen staff are pictured wearing their aprons like capes. GK helped nearly 2,500 food service workers in 2020 alone by giving them financial assistance and helping them find community resources. Courtesy of Giving Kitchen

Throughout the past year the coronavirus pandemic has made making ends meet more difficult for many. Essential workers, like those in food service, in particular have experienced increased risks, and often their jobs offer little protection or security should an employee fall ill or need time off work. The Giving Kitchen (GK) works to provide emergency assistance to food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources.

“We provide a financial assistance program that supplements cost of living for those experiencing illness, injury, death of an immediate family member or a housing disaster like a flood or fire,” said Jen Hidinger-Kendrick, co-founder and marketing and communications director at GK.

GK also has a referral program called Stability Network that connects food service workers to vital community resources related to mental health, physical health and wellness, substance abuse and addiction, employment, housing and utilities, family and social services, financial services and legal and immigration services.

“Food service workers are the fabric of our communities. One in four Americans started in food service. Food service is the second-largest job provider in the U.S.,” said Hidinger-Kendrick.

This year GK saw a tremendous increase in individual donations, often of $100 or less, and these funds have allowed them to help people who otherwise wouldn’t have had support.

“Our team simplified our client intake process and was able to assist nearly 2,500 food service workers in 2020 alone,” said Hidinger-Kendrick. “Our storytelling shifted entirely to impact in order to meet our community with compassion, care and gratitude.”

Who’s helping?

Giving Kitchen

Services: GK provides crisis mitigation for food service workers through financial support and a network of community resources.

How to help: Spreading the word, following GK on social media @givingkitchen and donating are all ways to help GK continue their work.

Where to donate: thegivingkitchen.org/support

Who can access services: All food service workers in Georgia.

How to get help: Learn more at thegivingkitchen.org/stability-network.

If you are involved in or know of an organization working to bring relief to the Atlanta community during the coronavirus pandemic OR you are with an organization with supplies that you don’t know where to donate, please email us at Shannon.n.Dominy@gmail.com.

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