BURLINGTON, VT- The Skinny Pancake is providing hundreds of meals for people who are feeling food insecure through their new program called ShiftMeals. They are offering free meals at various locations across the state.
ShiftMeals is a charitable meal program in response to COVID-19. It offers free meals every Tuesday and Friday to anyone in need, specifically unemployed restaurant workers and musicians.
In order to pick up meals, you can sign up on their website ahead of time.
“We saw this need that immediately all these people were going to be out of work and even now that unemployment is coming through its very backed up in the state so people are feeling insecure,” said Director of Marketing Michael Cyr.
Cyr said they saw this time as a way to repurpose their business.
“We had just moved to a new kitchen where we were equipped to produce mass volumes of food and all the sudden, we had nowhere to bring that. So, we said how can we launch this into the charitable food system,” said Cyr.
The Skinny Pancake employs over 200 people across the green mountain state. Cyr said while they were able to continue employment for some, they still wanted to help everyone.
“I think there’s a social contract that goes beyond just the paycheck, said Cyr. “And so, we were able to provide food.”
On Friday, ShiftMeals took place outside of The Skinny Pancakes Burlington location. Among those picking up food, was Eric George. George is a musician who has been out of work due to the coronavirus.
“I play music all around new England,” said George. “My main gig has been playing nursing homes and rehab facilities and assisted living places and obviously those were the first things to go.”
He said its been a struggle to get some of the things he needs.
“Not having an income right now is making a big impact how we can get food,” said George.
George was supposed to play a gig at The Skinny Pancake and found out about Shifftmeals. He and many other were grateful to have food provided for them during this time of struggle.
“Every little bit helps and its really been nice,” said Restaurant worker Nathan Krida.