HOUSTON - We know that the restaurant industry continues to be one of the hardest hit during the Coronavirus pandemic, but some restaurant owners are stepping up to take care of their own.
The Phoenix on Westheimer started serving meals today for those in the restaurant business who lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Fox 26 got a chance to speak with some of the people who came out to pick up their meal.
“Our industry is very unstable, and you never know what you were going to make each week. And when things like this happens it’s very hard to plan for that.“ said Sharee Phelps, who works as a server. Pricilla Gonzalez worked as a bartender Downtown, she says “It’s really nice to, like, have our industry take care of our own industry people, because not a lot of people who work from home, they don’t know what we got going on.“
While many restaurants in the Houston area have had to shut their doors or lay off staff members to make ends meet amid the COVID-19 pandemic, others are rising to the occasion to help fill the financial gap that these workers are facing. Vu Truong is the president of “Friends of the Phoenix”, he says “And the thing that I tell them is we are trying to save you a little bit of money. Right now you’re probably not in the situation that you were in dire streets where you need that meal, but if we can save you a little bit of money because this is going to be a while before it’s going to be normal.“
Truong’s non-profit helps those who have fallen on tough times in the restaurant industry. They are using their crisis fund to serve hot meals. You make a reservation through their website, there you pick your menu item and pick up time, then collect your food free of charge.
“It means the world to us. I mean just the small stuff like people giving us toilet paper, or just anything that we might need. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but just knowing that people care helps a lot.“ says Phelps.
Monday was the first day for their program, but future dates are in the works. While they are catering to fellow restaurant workers, they want the community to know they are here for them too. “We are not excluding anyone else, so if you lost your job and you found yourself in distress, and you found that we are giving these meals away it’s just that simple.“ says Truong.
Wednesday is the next time free meals will be offered. You can learn all about this program by visiting their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheFriendsOfThePhoenix/ or their website http://www.thefriendsofthephoenix.org/dr8/