Though he “get[s] lost in the days,” Timm Veach estimates that he hasn't "worked for about six weeks,” since being laid off from his cashier position at The Kitchen restaurant in The Woodlands.
“We’re being shown now, in this world, that the backbone of this country are the workers like myself and other people,” Veach says. “When we’re highly affected, it really hurts us because we live so closely from paycheck to paycheck.”
Veach reached out to the Woodlands Area Foodies Helps initiative on the advice of a Kitchen manager and received $50 toward his water bill.
This fundraiser spun off from the Woodlands Area Foodies website and popular Facebook community. According to founder Albert Nurick, a Woodlands-based food writer, photographer, and marketer, the response since its inception has proved “incredible.” As of this writing, WAF Helps has received almost $3,000 in donations and more than 300 requests for assistance from food and beverage employees facing layoffs or sliced hours.
“When the coronavirus hit Houston and things were getting difficult in the restaurant industry, we had a lot of friends who are in the business who were telling us things are getting really bad—especially for servers, front-of-house people, and hourly workers,” Nurick says.
From these discussions, he decided to take advantage of his large social media platform (the Woodlands Area Foodies group currently boasts more than 23,000 members) and inspire his followers to support the service workers who feed them.
“[Food and beverage professionals] fill out a form telling us what kind of situation they’re in and what sort of help they need,” Nurick saya. “We ask them to describe the situation and how much they need, how many dependents they have, whether they’re the sole breadwinner, and [we] prioritize by who needs it the most.”
All recipients receive a minimum of $50 to be put toward rent, bills, groceries, medication, and other necessities.
“That little helping hand means the world to people like us,” Veach says.