Greenville program gives back to community through local restaurants

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Throughout the pandemic, feeding the hungry has been a primary focus of local non-profits. Federal grant funding is helping those meals go even further.

Boxes of food were prepared by local restaurants and handed out to anyone who was hungry.

“This has been able to keep six of our salaried managers working,” Kristina Murphy, Executive Vice President of Larkin’s Restaurants, said.

Larkin’s Restaurants was just one of those supplying the meals. But Murphy said they’ve been helped too.

“We were faced with making some hard choices with staffing levels, and probably laying off most of our catering team,” Murphy said.

Now, thanks to Connect for Good, Larkin’s has been able to keep on salaried and hourly employees.

“It would have been really hard news to break to staff a little bit before Christmas that we didn’t have work or income for them,” Murphy said.

Connect for Good is a program developed at the start of the pandemic, which found a way to use CARES Act grants to pay local restaurants to provide boxes of food for those in need.

“When covid hit we, started doing food banks. We’ve given over 600,000 pounds of food since covid started,” Joshua Lawson, with South Carolina Empowerment Centre, said.

Lawson picked up 500 meals for the non-profit on Wednesday. He says one meal can make a real difference.

“Some of the elderly people we serve can’t get out of the house right now with covid so not being able to go to the store and whatnot, a meal would get them by another day,” Lawson said.

For Murphy and the rest of those involved in these meal giveaways, it’s just another way to keep the community together.

“Every day we don’t know what to expect, so we take it and do what we can with it,” Murphy said.

Since its inception 37 weeks ago, Connect for Good has provided more than 65,000 meals to the community.

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