Staff Meal,a non-profit that provides 2,400 free chef-crafted meals per weekend to hospitality industry members in-need, is moving its program from 3015 at Trinity Groves to Irving Convention Center beginning this Saturday, May 2. Irving Convention Center donated the space, providing a larger, state-of-the-art kitchen and workspace for the volunteer culinary team and a more central location for curbside pick-up for North Texans.
“Staff Meal is providing a service that my entire team can support and embrace,” says Tom Meehan, general manager of Irving Convention Center. “We are pleased to be able to give back to the community during this time of need.”
In response to the growing amount of restaurant and hospitality workers unemployed due to COVID-19, Cheryl Weis, Alison Matis and Emily Mantooth of FestEvents Foundation, in collaboration with Chef Nick Walker and Steve DeShazo, launched Staff Meal on April 11, 2020. The program provides 300 free to-go food packages, including four servings of breakfast and four servings of lunch/dinner, to struggling industry workers. Reservations for the meals are required through www.staffmeal.org, and the food packages are available for no-touch pick-up every Saturday between 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Irving Convention Center located at 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, TX 75039.
Explained DeShazo, “There are 677,000 unemployed service industry workers across the state of Texas. Due to the overwhelming response that we received from North Texans over the last three weeks for the meal distribution, we knew we needed a much larger kitchen. We will see Staff Meal continue to grow and expand outreach, especially now that we are more accessible to sectors that are heavily populated with displaced industry workers but offer fewer free meal plans.”
Since its launch, associations and businesses – large and small – have risen to the occasion to donate funding, product, and in-kind services including: 3015 at Trinity Groves, Artscape Creative, Cava Group Inc., Chef’s Produce Company, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Dairy Max, Fresh Point, Friedman Marketing and Public Relations, Gordon Food Service, Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, Irving Convention Center, La Madeleine, M&M Concessions, Maple Leaf Farms, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Profound Foods, Tailwater Capital, Texas Beef Council, Verlasso Salmon, Vipin Nambiar, and Wackym’s Kitchen.