Group working to feed out-of-work hospitality employees

VIDEO: Group working to feed out-of-work hospitality employees

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Lowcountry organization launches a new event Monday to make sure healthcare workers and restaurant and hospitality workers who’ve been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic receive good meals.

The Charleston Hospitality Group created “Full Belly, Full Hearts” when it realized they had lots of extra food, mostly non-perishable, after some restaurants were shut down.

The group decided to start this campaign when they realized they had lots of extra food, mostly non-perishable, after all restaurants were shut down.

This is a way for them to give back to the community, while also allowing them to employ about 15% of employees to make and serve the food.

“It’s heartbreaking to watch people who have come to professionally love each other and to care for each other, to all the sudden have those people ripped away from you. And, not knowing when you’re going to get to see them in person again," CHG Director of Operations Jeff Diehl said. "Lots of hugs and high-fives and stuff. So I think that’s probably the immediate impact. Financial impact is obvious, but I think socially and spiritually, and mentally, I think that’s what’s the toughest part to see and be a part of is that it’s now gone.”

While they are only able to employ a small number for the food giveaway event, the Charleston Hospitality Group says it’s only the beginning of what they are trying to do keep the community up and running.

“That’s a common thread, that everyone’s out of work and scared and nervous,” Diehl said. "So you say we’ve gotta figure something out to let people at least eat. And so that’s where ‘full belly, full hearts’ came about. It’s very, very difficult to accomplish anything else when you’re hungry. Next to breathing, food and water is what we need. And so, if you have a full belly, then you can have a full heart.’

Food pick-ups will start Monday at all four Toast restaurants across in Summerville, Mount Pleasant, West Ashley and Downtown Charleston.

The staff at all restaurants will be bringing food out to people in their cars to still practice social distancing.

The event is planned to run Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Officials say if there is food still left over after the first week, they will keep going until they are out.

The Charleston Hospitality Group says they hope this inspires other restaurants in the area, and across the country, to do the same, if they are able.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.