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Denver group provides drive-up family meal for newly unemployed restaurant workers

Free meals will be distributed on Tues. and Thurs.
Posted at 4:45 PM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 19:27:27-04

DENVER — Anyone who has spent time working in a restaurant is familiar with something called a family meal where everyone sits down together for a meal before or after their shift. A group is hoping to provide that same sense of comfort and nourishment to people who have recently lost jobs in the service industry.

"I think my favorite part about the restaurant and the beverage and the food community is really that sense of family that you have outside of that job," said Ryan Negley, Vice President of the Denver Whiskey Club.

Negley and others in the industry teamed up to provide free meals twice a week. A nonprofit called Friends and Family is working with the Denver Whiskey Club and Zeppelin Station to make sure out-of-work employees in the restaurant and bar industry have something to eat.

"I mean, this is tremendous, it’s not just one person who is laid off, it’s their entire family. We’ve had people from every area of the service industry reach out to us, dishwashers, head chefs, line cooks, you name it," said Marika Evanger, General Manager at Zeppelin Station.

The meals are being handed out every Tuesday and Thursday at Zeppelin Station, located at 3501 Wazee Street in Denver. Pickup begins at noon and lasts until 2:00 p.m. or whenever the meals run out. Anyone interested in picking up a meal can text their name, phone number and email to 716-262-9834. Additional information can be found here.

"It helps a lot because it’s two days out of the week you don’t got to stress about what you’re going to cook and where you’re going to figure out everything," said Jennifer Bigelow who recently lost her job when the restaurant she was working at shutdown.