Fort Worth's food and beverage industry is not only supremely hospitable, it's also consistently generous, always ready to rally 'round with charitable acts of kindness. That's even true during these cataclysmic times of the coronavirus, when thousands of people have suddenly lost their jobs.
Here are some initiatives and charitable acts that have surfaced in the Fort Worth-area restaurant world. The list will continue to be updated as more restaurants launch new programs and services.
The Fort Worth Food & Wine Festival has been postponed until the fall. But its charitable foundation has launched the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to support the culinary community. "We are temporarily shifting our focus to include a relief fund to provide $100,000 in emergency assistance to employees of restaurants and/or bars (with food service) impacted by recent public health issues that limit available work in our community," they say on their website. Restaurant owners and managers may apply for funds to help employees (up to $500 each) who are experiencing extreme hardship as a result of the crisis, they say. Donate here.
Nonprofit theater group Kids Who Care's 22nd Cookin' for Kids fundraising event, originally scheduled for Sunday, March 29, was canceled. But they'll transform it into a virtual "telethon" event live-streamed on Facebook at 5 pm Sunday. While there will not be the usual chef competition, three of the chefs slated to compete this year (Jon Bonnell, Kevin Martinez, and Denise Shavandy) will, instead, be creating and sharing recipes that viewers can make easily at home. Half the telethon proceeds will be donated to the new Restaurant Employee Relief Fund from the Fort Worth Food & Wine Foundation. Find out more and register here.
Visit Fort Worth has a page featuring restaurants that offer curbside/to-go or home delivery throughout the city. It is being updated regularly, and there's a mobile-friendly version, too.
Chill Bar & Grill in Grapevine is handing out a selection of 300 free pizzas, sandwiches, and wraps beginning at noon on Thursday, March 26. Food will be offered via “drive-through” in the parking lot of the restaurant, located at 814 S. Main St. There is a limit of two per vehicle.
The Lunch Box has ceased all operations and closed to the public for the time being. However, each weekday they are handing out 200+ free lunches to anyone in need, including first responders, healthcare workers, laid-off service industry, or anyone who could use a free meal. Each lunch comes with a sandwich, chips, fruit, and cookie. They're at 6333 Camp Bowie Blvd.; find out more on their Facebook page.
38 & Vine, the new wine bar and tasting room in The Foundry District, is donating 20 percent of sales to A Wish With Wings, though March 29. A Wish With Wings grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Bottles of wine are available for direct delivery and curbside pick up, Monday thru Sunday. To find out more about how to purchase, order times, and more, visit their website or call 682-703-1887.
Melt Ice Creams has started an initiative called Happiness for Heroes, in which scoops can be purchased online and delivered to medical emergency workers throughout DFW. Notes of encouragement can be attached, too. For more information, visit the website.
Twilite Lounge is asking for virtual donations to help staff members who are now without income. They offer details on how to contribute to their virtual tip jar on their Facebook page.
United Way has a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund. They will help with bills, rent, and food. Call 866-211-9966 and provide zip code, and you'll get a list of local agencies to provide service.
Twisted Root Burger Co. is offering a free meal every day to its employees and their dependents.
Three Fort Worth distilleries — TX Whiskey, Acre, and Blackland — are now making hand sanitizer. Some will be donated to healthcare workers, and bottles will also be made available to the public. More information in this story.
A Dallas-Fort Worth startup has launched the Get Shift Done for North Texas Initiative to place hourly workers in the hospitality industry in jobs working for nonprofit organizations and institutions in need during the COVID-19 crisis. More information here.
Teresa Gubbins contributed to this story.