Hugo's joins Houston Shift Meal to feed restaurant workers in need

HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) -- Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of local restaurant workers have been laid off or furloughed. Now, Houston's restaurant community is coming together to support their own.

Houston Shift Meal is a non-profit organization created to fund restaurants that provide free meals for hospitality workers who have lost their jobs. The volunteer group was created by publicist Jonathan Beitler and sommelier Cat Nguyen.

"It is heartbreaking to know that they don't know where their next paycheck is going to come from and they don't know what's going to happen once this crisis is hopefully over," said Beitler.

So far, Houston Shift Meal has teamed up with local restaurants including Backstreet Cafe, B.B. Italia, Hugo's, MKT Bar, Cherry Block, El Big Bad, Field & Tides and The Phoenix to provide meals.

"From hotel workers to bar workers to servers and line cooks, anybody who's working in the hospitality industry who has been affected by this crisis, we are welcoming to come be part of our initiative and get a free meal," said Beitler.

"What we're basically doing is, any restaurant that's partnering up with us, we're asking them to provide 50-75 shift meals per participation day, and we are going to sponsor them $250 to cover their costs," said Nguyen.

To find out where the free meals will be served, follow Houston Shift Meal on Facebook.
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