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Chef Edward Lee tells that due to the massive layoffs in the hospitality industry due to the COVID-19 outbreak nationwide, Chef Edward Lee, in partnership with The LEE Initiative and Maker’s Mark Bourbon Whiskey, launched The Restaurant Workers Relief Program.

This program started on Tuesday, March 17 out of the catering kitchen of Lee’s restaurant, 610 Magnolia in Louisville Kentucky, and was able to serve over 400 individuals in the restaurant industry who had recently become unemployed.

The overwhelming response from the community inspired other chefs around the country to create similar programs, working directly with The LEE Initiative and Maker’s Mark.

Restaurant workers must bring in proof of recent employment (paystubs will suffice) and will receive hot meals, toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers, formula, personal hygiene items, and more. Times, days and exact details vary between relief centers.

Most of these relief centers are funded for the next two weeks but are hoping to be able to stay open longer with donations via These relief centers include:

Chef Edward Lee at 610 Magnolia

Washington, DC
Chef Edward Lee at Succotash

Chef Jose Salazar at Mita’s

Los Angeles
Chef Nancy Silverton at Chi Spacca

Chef Paul Kahan at Big Star

Chef Edouardo Jordan at Salare

Chef Alon Shaya at Safta

Chef Greg Braxtrom at Olmsted and Nate Adler at Gertie’s

Chefs Ouita Michel and Samantha Fore at Great Bagel Bakery

New Orleans
Chef Donald Link at Cochon

Chef Linton Hopkins at Restaurant Eugene

For more information on the relief efforts, please follow The LEE Initiative on social media .

Continue to follow for more updates on how the hospitality industry is supporting those in need during COVID-19.


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