Chefs Across the Country Support Plan to Help Restaurants Feed Local Families

The coronavirus has caused a catastrophic health and economic emergency, pushing millions of American families into poverty. Estimates show that 1 in 4 children in the United States could face hunger this year.

The culinary industry has long been an ally in the fight against childhood hunger, yet this crisis has also put its future in jeopardy. But despite their own personal crises, chefs and culinary professionals are still serving their communities, finding innovative ways to feed hungry children and other vulnerable populations. 

In order for these initiatives to be sustainable, culinary professionals need help. That’s why Share Our Strength, the organization behind the No Kid Hungry campaign, and the James Beard Foundation have partnered to support the Community Meals Fund Act (H.R. 6384). 

This bill, introduced by Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), would provide funding for nonprofits to create public-private partnerships with restaurants to prepare needed meals for vulnerable populations. These types of partnerships are seeing great success in cities nationally — and federal funding could help expand and keep these initiatives sustainable.

Hundreds of chefs and culinary professionals stand behind this approach. In fact, more than 400 of them representing all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands signed a letter of support, which was delivered to Congress on June 1, urging the adoption of this legislation in the next coronavirus relief package. 

To weather this storm, we will need a combination of resources, including the Community Meals Fund, SNAP, school meals and charitable emergency feeding programs to ensure that no child slips through the hunger cracks during this crisis and as our nation recovers. We stand with our culinary community in support of this legislation that will help feed kids and help the restaurant industry get back on its feet.

Learn more about the Community Meals Fund:

  • Read this op-ed in The Hill from No Kid Hungry’s Senior Vice President Lisa Davis and James Beard Foundation’s Vice President of Impact Katherine Miller. 
  • Tune into this recorded webinar from the James Beard Foundation featuring Jenny Dirksen (Share Our Strength), chef Alex Raij (Txikito, El Quinto Pino, La Vara), Monica Garay (Office of Rep. Nydia Velázquez) and Ashley Kosiak (James Beard Foundation).