Oregon Hospitality Foundation awards $20K to 5 charitable restaurants

Human Interest

Five Oregon restaurants were awarded for their programs to feed front line workers, food insecure citizens and unemployment service industry professionals.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A non-profit supporting restaurant and service industry workers in Oregon is awarding more than $20,000 to help with five restaurants’ charitable programs to assist the service industry and front line workers.

The Oregon Hospitality Foundation made the announcement on Wednesday.

Eighty-one percent of Oregon restaurant employees, or approximately 127,000 people, have been laid off or furloughed due to economic fallout from the ongoing novel coronavirus as of April, according to the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“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,” Wendy Popkin, OHF’s executive director, said in a statement.

Five restaurants were awarded for their programs to feed front line workers, food insecure citizens and unemployment service industry professionals amid COVID-19, including two in Portland.

Here’s a breakdown of each restaurants’ program and what they were awarded:

Hospital workers in Salem, Oregon were provided with free meals through the Crisis Meals Program at Rudy’s Steakhouse in Salem. Rudy’s provided over 8,000 meals to the local Salem community. May 26, 2020 (photo courtesy OHF).
  • 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. Awarded $8,000.
  • Restaurant O, Coos Bay, created the Pay it Forward program to provide meals to homeless children, first responders and foster care families. Awarded $2,060.
  • Rudy’s Steakhouse, Salem, created the program Crisis Meals to provide 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. Awarded $4,140.
  • 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. Awarded $2,640.
  • 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 front line. Awarded $3,800.

Each award amount was based on the average cost of meals each restaurant had already served and what they needed to sustain this effort going forward, a spokesperson for OHF told KOIN 6 News.

“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,” said Renee Gorham, co-owner, Toro Bravo Restaurant Group, in a press release.

“[W]e’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,” added Robbie Wilson, co-owner of Botanist House in Portland.

Oregon restaurants interested in applying for these funds can complete an online application here.

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