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Stories of Hope Amidst the Crisis

We’re devastated by the impact of COVID-19 in the restaurant industry and society at large right now right now, but equally uplifted by the stories of hope, selflessness, and heroism happening all around us. We give all the kudos to these Atlanta heroes for stepping it up and making a difference when the community needs it most. If you know of any uplifting stories happening right now in the Metro Atlanta area, please email them to trisha@atlantaeats.com

Photo: Cafe Intermezzo

1. Cafe Intermezzo Distributes 2,500 Free Meals to Hospitality Workers

All city of Atlanta restaurants have been ordered to close dine-in operations aside from to-go orders and delivery, and as a result, Cafe Intermezzo chose to temporarily suspend all operations. But before they did so, they were able to give away 2,500 FREE “Meals To Go” to hospitality workers. Please make it a point to dine out to support them once they’re back in operation, and order alllll the cheesecake to thank them for their generosity. Tip extra hard.

Red Pepper Taqueria - Staff

Red Pepper Taqueria – Staff

2. Red Pepper Taqueria Distributes Meals to the Homeless

Red Pepper Taqueria has temporarily closed in accordance with an order from the city of Brookhaven for all restaurants to suspend their dine-in operations. However, right before they closed up shop, Chef Mimmo’s staff used their remaining fresh ingredients to cook up meals to drop off at local Atlanta homeless shelters. To keep supporting the folks at Red Pepper Taqueria, order a giant margarita once you’re able to dine in with them again.

Old Fourth Distillery - Hand Sanitizer

Old Fourth Distillery – Hand Sanitizer Being Distributed to First Responders and Healthcare Workers

3. Old Fourth Distillery Creates Hand Sanitizer For First Responders and Healthcare Workers 

Old Fourth Distillery, a local Atlanta distillery of fine Southern Spirits, is ramping up their efforts to help our community by creating a hand sanitizer made with aloe vera gel and 95% ethanol for first responders and healthcare workers. The next time you’re able to purchase an Old Fourth Distillery handle of vodka or bourbon at the store, do so to support these hometown heroes. 

Nakato - Staff

Nakato – Staff

4. Nakato Japanese Restaurant to Pay All 50 Employees’ Wages for Full Month, Match Dollar-per-Dollar Donations Up to $50,000

When you’re a restaurant that has been around for 48 years, your employees aren’t just employees. They’re family. Nakato Japanese Restaurant has committed to paying all of their 50 employees their full wages for at least the next month.  

“Our staff is the lifeblood of our business, from the personal connections our servers have made with our guests sharing Japanese culinary traditions with them, or our Teppanyaki Chefs who have entertained our guests while cooking for them day in and day out, they are all the heartbeat of Nakato,” reflects Sachi Nakato Takahara. “In this crisis, we wanted our employees to breathe a little easier and know how much we value and appreciate them, by removing the stress created by this pandemic, at least for the next month,” said Sachi.

The Nakato family is also matching donations, dollar per dollar, up to $50,000, to provide additional funding for their restaurant family if you would like to give.

Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan | Photo Credit: Ryan Kang/NFL

Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan | Photo Credit: Ryan Kang/NFL

5. Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan, Braves Player Freddie Freeman, and Major Food and Beverage Companies Donate to the Giving Kitchen

Amongst other local Atlanta charities, Falcons player Matt Ryan donated $100,000 and Braves player Freddie Freeman donated $50,000 to support the efforts at the Giving Kitchen. The Giving Kitchen is a local nonprofit that provides financial assistance to food workers experiencing hardship due to an unexpected illness (including COVID-19), injury, death of an immediate family member or housing disaster in Georgia.

GK Executive Director Bryan Schroeder says, “Any food service worker in Georgia diagnosed with COVID-19 or under medical mandatory quarantine should immediately apply for financial assistance through Giving Kitchen. Full stop. We have their backs.”

In addition to these donations, other major food and beverage brands have stepped up to help. Tito’s Vodka has pledged $25,000, Savannah Distributing Company has pledged $25,000, Anheuser Busch has pledged $25,000, and Eagle Rock and Atlanta Beverage Company have also pledged $25,000 to the Giving Kitchen. 

Food service workers in Georgia who have been diagnosed with an illness that requires them to miss work (including but certainly not limited to COVID-19) or those who are under verifiable orders for a mandatory quarantine can visit GK’s: ASK FOR HELP page to log their request for assistance.

If you’d like to contribute to Atlanta Eats’ campaign for the Giving Kitchen, you can donate here.

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