“We never know what our day will look like,” says Will Merwin, who works for the Blue Star Group. “Will we be busy? Will we make money? But we always know we have Rally for Restaurants Monday and Wednesday to look forward to.”
Since COVID-19, restaurant workers like Will and thousands of others have been struggling, but Rally for Restaurants, an initiative funded by a generous grant from the Pikes Peak United Way, is making a huge impact.
Through the program, local restaurants are being paid $15 per meal to feed displaced restaurant workers and their immediate families. Both employed and unemployed restaurant workers can register for meals (springsnative.com/rally-for-restaurants), and they may claim up to four meals per day to feed themselves and their family.
To meet the need, twice a week, two restaurants serve 75 meals each for a total of 300 meals per week. Salsa Brava is one of the participating restaurants. During a recent visit, the atmosphere was festive as staff served veggie and chicken burritos with all the trimmings to restaurant workers and their families. Co-owner Liz Price says, “That’s the beauty of Colorado Springs restaurants. We rally together to help each other. This program is the perfect example of giving back.”
By program’s end, March 22, the total meal count will be 3,750 with 51 participating restaurants. “Rally for Restaurants has helped raise the spirits of our hospitality industry,” says Meagan Thomas, organizer of Rally for Restaurants and owner and founder of Springs Native. “It’s giving restaurant owners and workers the extra boost they need to make it through a difficult time—and bring a smile to their faces.”
To donate to the Pikes Peak United Way, go to ppunitedway.org.