To aid the badly affected restaurant and hospitality industries during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-grocer FreshDirect has joined forces with on-site dining management company Restaurant Associates on RA Kitchen, an alliance that expands FreshDirect’s capacity in the prepared food category, enabling the company to serve more customers with a rotating selection of heat-and-eat meals, while bringing furloughed Restaurant Associates employees back to work.
Selections listed on FreshDirect’s website are Eggplant Parmesan, Beef Meatballs and Marinara Sauce, Chicken and Vegetable Soup, Penne Pasta with Sausage Bolognese, and Chicken Cacciatore.
Further, for every meal bought, FreshDirect and Restaurant Associates will donate a meal to needy New Yorkers via the NY Common Pantry.
“The devastation this health pandemic is causing across the New York restaurant industry hits close to home, as I started my career in restaurants, as a cook,” noted David McInerney, CEO and co-founder of Bronx, N.Y.-based FreshDirect. “By partnering with Restaurant Associates, we have the opportunity to bring some of their employees back to work, while offering our customers great meal solutions, and best of all, continuing to give back and support NY Common Pantry in their efforts to serve the many food-insecure people in our community. Their mission is more vital than ever as we anticipate the rise of unemployment, which will lead to even more people facing uncertainty and worrying about where their next meal will come from. No one should face that fear.”
“Restaurant Associates is thrilled to partner with another longstanding NYC company, FreshDirect, to provide mission-driven ready-to-heat meals,” added Ed Brown, president of the New York-based company. “For us, this is a win-win-win partnership where we get to put our teams back to work [and] provide our community with comforting and delicious food, all the while supporting the food-insecure.”
“We are grateful for the continued support of FreshDirect and Restaurant Associates, and this new combined initiative,” said Stephen Grimaldi, executive director of NY Common Pantry. “The consequences of COVID-19 on NY Common Pantry, and its exacerbating the already existing crisis of food insecurity in NYC, has just begun. The number of new registrants at our two pantry locations is alarming. With unemployment skyrocketing, we see demand escalating even further. Every donation right now is critical.”