Thousands of free daily meals provided for area schoolchildren and their families
RASA, a critically-acclaimed fast-casual Indian restaurant, is joining forces with Real Food for Kids to meet the needs of school children and their families in the Washington D.C. area who are facing food insecurity due to school closures and job losses.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our industry, our city, and our community has been unprecedented. At RASA, we believe we have a role to play in keeping our doors open and our community fed,” said RASA co-owner Sahil Rahman. “We are thrilled to be able to donate meals through Chefs Feeding Families whose mission aligns with our own.”
Since the lockdowns began, RASA has been offering thousands of free meals to school children and essential workers fighting on the front lines, initially funding the effort themselves, then partnering with former Washington Redskins star Vernon Davis and the Vernon Davis Foundation. Since then, RASA’s Feed the District initiative has raised over $70,000 due to the generosity of other donors including JBG SMITH.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced RASA to pivot its dining model to delivery and takeout/pickup services. Real Food for Kids, the non-profit organization founded in 2010 that works with local school communities to elevate the quality and character of school food, also found itself pivoting.
When the schools initially shut down, Real Food for Kids jumped at the opportunity to provide free meals to area children and families who rely on school meals. On March 17, Real Food for Kids and chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery in Arlington, VA initiated the Chefs Feeding Families project. Chefs Feeding Families aims to feed children and their families affected by school shutdowns and job losses, no questions asked. In three months, in collaboration with other DC-area restaurants, Chefs Feeding Families has served over 50,000 free meals. The restaurant collaborators include American Son, Pizzeria Paradiso, Silver Diner, and Design Cuisine.
“The need to feed those impacted by school closures and job losses keeps growing,” stated Bonnie Moore, interim executive director and founding board member of Real Food for Kids. “The school shutdown created a food access crisis within the larger crisis at hand. While local school districts are working around the clock to continue to offer meals, not all families are able to access available distribution sites. We are so grateful to RASA for donating meals for the month of July so we can extend our reach.”
Free grab-and-go meals provided by RASA will be served Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 2 p.m. (while supplies last) at Rising Hope, 8220 Russell Rd, Alexandria, VA 22309. Meals will be distributed by members of Rising Hope staff and volunteers.
For more information on Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families, please e-mail email@example.com, visit http://www.realfoodforkids.org/chefsfeedingfamilies, or follow Real Food for Kids on Facebook – www.facebook.com/realfoodforkids – for updates.
Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families is a joint project with Washington, D.C., metro-area restaurants to provide nourishing grab-and-go meals for school children and their families impacted by school closures and job losses. The project aims to ensure children and their families are fed while preventing the spread of COVID-19. Co-founded by Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington, Va. and Real Food for Kids, Chefs Feeding Families provides funding for food, supplies, and restaurant staff to feed as many families as possible and create employment opportunities within the restaurant community which has been deeply impacted by COVID-19 closures. Since its launch on March 17, Chefs Feeding Families has expanded its efforts to serve at 17 free meal distribution sites and joined forces with Pizzeria Paradiso, Silver Diner, American Son, Design Cuisine, RASA, and Good Food Company to serve families throughout the Greater Washington area Visit www.realfoodforkids.org/chefsfeedingfamilies to find the latest information about meal availability in the area and learn how to help provide more meals for families in need.