OREGON HOSPITALITY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES FIRST AWARDS TO RESTAURANTS FEEDING FRONTLINE WORKERS AND FOOD INSECURE CITIZENS DURING PANDEMIC
Portland restaurants, Toro Bravo Restaurant Group and Botanist House are among the five award recipients from around the state
PORTLAND, Oregon – May 27, 2020 – While the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone, the hospitality industry was the first hit by closures and one that has been most devastated by its impact. The Oregon Hospitality Foundation (OHF) is proud to announce its first round of awards to restaurants throughout Oregon who responded to the incredible need for food and created innovative programs to help feed their communities – from essential workers to unemployed restaurant staff and food-insecure neighbors. In addition to the generous support from the Grubhub Community Relief Fund, OHF will donate proceeds from its virtual event series, Takeout & A Movie to support statewide restaurants that are making a difference in our communities. Future movie events will support other initiatives such as culinary training programs.
According to the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, as of April 2020, 81% of restaurant employees, approximately 127,000 people in Oregon, had been laid off or furloughed. “Being of service is at the heart of the hospitality industry,” said OHF Executive Director Wendy Popkin. “The Oregon Hospitality Foundation is proud to help raise funds and contribute to family-owned restaurants across the state who are stepping up to meet the needs of people in their communities.”
OHF Hospitality Help Fund Restaurant Awards
The first round of restaurants to receive funds for their work to feed frontline workers, food insecure citizens, and unemployed service industry professionals, include:
- Botanist House, Portland: Created a new model to use ongoing donations to hire drivers and deliver 750 meals per day to unemployed service industry professionals.
- Restaurant O, Coos Bay: Created the Pay it Forward program to provide meals to homeless children, first responders and foster care families.
- Rudy’s Steakhouse, Salem: Created the program Crisis Meals to provide meals to first responders and unemployed workers. To date, Rudy’s has provided over 8,000 meals in the local Salem community.
- 7 Devil’s Public House, Coos Bay: Created the Community Meal Program to provide family-sized take-and-bake meals to unemployed service industry workers, as well as comforting soup deliveries to the homeless community.
- Toro Bravo Restaurant Group, Portland: Created the Feed it Forward PDX program to feed the homeless community at P:ear, Rose Haven, and New Avenues for Youth. They also provided free food bags for anyone in need and a sliding scale pay structure for meals to healthcare workers on the frontline.
Oregon restaurants interested in applying for these funds can complete an online application here.
“The connections we made during the pandemic were a snowball effect of a group of good people who wanted to do what’s right,” said Robbie Wilson, co-owner of Botanist House in Portland. “Together, we’re able to prepare and deliver up to 700 meals a day to unemployed service industry workers in need. The OHF award will help us keep this program going weeks longer.”
“As soon as our restaurant group closed all 10 restaurants because of COVID-19, we shifted immediately to preparing and sharing food with school children, unemployed staff and nonprofit partners through our Free Food Bag and Sliding Scale programs,” said Renee Gorham, co-owner, Toro Bravo Restaurant Group. “To date we’ve served over 6,000 meals through our combined programs, and with the help of the OHF award, we’ll continue to feed people in need as long as we can.”
TAKEOUT & A MOVIE Event Helps to Fund over 11,500 Meals
OHF’s new fundraising event, Takeout & A Movie kicked off in May with its first virtual screening of the film PHOENIX OREGON followed by a Q&A with the film’s directors and actors, hosted by OHF Executive Director Wendy Popkin. The successful event was a partnership with Joma Film’s Annie Lundgren. Via a generous donation from the Grubhub Community Relief Fund, event ticket sales and money contributed from OHF, enough money was raised to fund an estimated 11,500 meals. The next movie in the series will be announced in June.
About Oregon Hospitality Foundation
The Oregon Hospitality Foundation (OHF) was established in 1992 and is a nonprofit 501c3 that supports the charitable relief needs and ongoing educational and training requirements of Oregon’s Hospitality industry. OHF’s partners include restaurants, lodging, attractions and other tourism businesses and organizations throughout Oregon. Recently, OHF created the Oregon Hospitality Help Fund as an emergency relief fund to raise money for its hospitality partners whose businesses and employees are struggling during the pandemic. For more information about supporting our work with a donation or sponsorship, please visit www.oregonhospitalityfoundation.org and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.