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Restaurant workers relief program kicks off in Louisville, expands nationally

The Lee Initiative, created by Chef Ed Lee of 610 Magnolia, will hand out meals to restaurant employees out of work due to coronavirus

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Lee Initiative, which was created by Louisville's famed Chef Ed Lee of 610 magnolia has launched a Restaurant Workers Relief Program. The program is giving out free meals to restaurant employees with proof of a pay stub.

Volunteers prepared the meals on Tuesday. Those meals are will be available at 610 Magnolia from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. nightly starting Tuesday.

To help support the program, The Omni donated thousands of dollars’ worth of fresh produce on Tuesday.

Omni spokesperson Kerri Richardson said the Omni is prepared to serve thousands of people every day. When the governor closed bars and restaurants, she said all their fresh product would have gone to waste.

Instead the hotel decided to donate it to Chef Lee’s cause.

“We employ restaurant workers,” said Richardson. “We understand the uncertainty of the times that we're in right now. So whatever we can do to support those hospitality workers, even if they aren't Omni employees, we want to do that."

Chef Lee's Restaurant Workers Relief Program has since been adopted by chefs in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and more. These sites will be operational for about two weeks, but can go longer with donations. If you'd like to donate, click here.

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