The hospitality and restaurant industries are so ingrained in our daily lives, we often forget how much those who work in them are dependent on our patronage. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, necessary safety precautions have required most of those businesses to close or greatly reduce hours and services which has left their employees in a bit of a lurch for the time being. Recognizing the surmounting need for wages for a large portion of North Texas’ workforce as well as a growing population of food insecure Texans, local business and community leaders Anaurag Jain and Patrick Brandt have launched Get Shift Done for North Texas (getshiftdone.org). They have support from their respective companies, community leaders, restaurant owners, and non-profit organizations such as the North Texas Food Bank, where Jain serves as the Chairman of the Board.
“We saw that the volunteer population for our local non-profits were experiencing an escalating need for volunteers during this crisis and the at-risk populations' need for food and resources were spiking,” says Anurag Jain, Chairman of Access Healthcare and Managing Partner of Perot Jain. “We also know there is a large number of workers in the food and beverage hospitality industry that are currently in need of work. Our goal is to help both the workers and the non-profits facilitate delivering meals to those in need while providing wages to the affected shift workers,” he added.
The Get Shift Done for North Texas Fund was created at Communities Foundation of Texas to raise money to provide wages to hourly workers, who would then serve shifts at local non-profit organizations, preparing and delivering meals to those ‘at-risk’ populations (including families, children, and the elderly) in need. Any remaining funds will be used to support non-profit organizations that provide workforce development and hunger relief.
The Shiftsmart platform and operations team will manage the onboarding, matching, scheduling, dispatching, and routing of workers to perform shifts. The existing infrastructure of food banks will be leveraged to match affected workers with available shifts. Restaurants will schedule their staff shifts at North Texas based non-profit organizations preparing, assembling, and delivering meals at a wage rate of $10/hour, paid from the Get Shift Done for North Texas Fund.
“We want to do our part and help our community during this crisis,” says Patrick Brandt, President of Shiftsmart.“Through our partnership with the North Texas Food Bank, beginning this Thursday, March 19, 2020, we will be able to serve over one million meals while providing wages to over 1,000 workers per week,” he adds.