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Local Chefs Serve Up Hope During COVID-19 Closures

“We all want to do what we can to help while our community is hurting, and this is the perfect way to give back while also providing income to our staff.”

Chef Sean Brock

James Beard-award winning chef Sean Brock, of Joyland, is a fixture in the southern food scene. Now he, along with six other notable Nashville chefs, are using their culinary talents to prepare meals for our neighbors unable to put food on the table as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and Metro Nashville’s Food Security Working Group, the chefs and their a-list restaurant staff are preparing 2,200 meals per week to distribute to Second Harvest Partner Agencies in South Nashville, East Nashville, Madison, Donelson, and Hermitage. 

The other chefs and restaurants include Derek Brooks of the Hermitage Hotel, David Jackman of Catbird Seat, Matt Bolus of 404 Kitchen, Marc Rose of The Graduate Hotel, Margot McCormack of Margot Café & Bar, and Matt Farley of The Southern Steak & Oyster.

“I hope these meals can bring a little bit of joy to families who might be having a hard time,” said Brock.

The meals are created with food provided by Second Harvest, as well as additional ingredients purchased by the individual restaurants. Sysco then picks up the prepared meals from each restaurant and delivers them to the Second Harvest Partner Agencies Monday thru Friday each week. 

“We are all coming together in this time to make sure everyone is fed and everyone gets the necessities they need,” said Chris Daskam, New Business Developer at Sysco. “It’s really about community and we are happy to help.”

The partnership is also putting restaurant workers back to work. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp (NCVC) has forwarded $120,000 in Visa gift cards, which were generously gifted through donors, to compensate the restaurant staff assisting with meal preparations.

“This is a unique program that provides benefits not only for families struggling to put nutritious meals on the table but also for restaurant workers who have not been able to earn an income during the crisis,” said Second Harvest President & CEO Nancy Keil. “These culinary professionals are some of the best in the world and we are so grateful to them, the NCVC, and Sysco for helping us make this program come to life during this unprecedented time.”

Learn more about how Second Harvest is feeding hope and fighting hunger in Middle and West Tennessee during COVID-19 and the aftermath of the March 3 tornadoes.

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