Even though the restaurant industry is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, it is still coming together to help those in need. 

When restaurants were shut down for months in the spring, Louisville’s leading restaurant owners stepped up and gave back. Some did it on their own, like Noosh Nosh, which became a soup kitchen for a while, or Kaiju Bar, which became a grocery. Others gave back as part of a group effort. 

That work continues six months into the pandemic, and it’s growing. The Lee Initiative’s Restaurant Worker Relief Program was founded in Louisville and has expanded to 19 cities, serving more than 400,000 hot meals to out-of-work restaurant employees since March.

The Kentucky Restaurant Association is turning what would have been the group’s largest fundraiser into a charity event for food bank Dare to Care. And the nonprofit Feed Louisville announced in early September