IRVING, Tex. – Staff Meal, a non-profit that provides 2,400 free chef-crafted meals per weekend to hospitality industry members, recently moved its program to Irving Convention Center.
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 my entire team can support and embrace,” said the facility’s general manager, Tom Meehan. “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, lunch, and dinner to struggling industry workers. Reservations for the meals are required through staffmeal.org, and the food packages are available for no-touch pick-up every Saturday between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Irving Convention Center, located at 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd in Irving.
“There are 677,000 unemployed service industry workers across the state of Texas. Due to the overwhelming response we received from north Texans over the last three weeks for the meal distribution, we knew we needed a much larger kitchen,” DeShazo said. “We will see Staff Meal continue to grow and expand outreach, especially now that we are more accessible to sectors heavily populated with displaced industry workers but offer fewer free meal plans.”