Due to the closure of restaurants across America, thousands of restaurant workers have an urgent need for assistance. Independent restaurants are at the center of the vibrant growth in America.  Restaurant workers need your help more than ever.  It is vital that we offer relief to those in need, so after this crisis restaurants can return to their full vibrancy.

In partnership with Maker’s Mark, we have turned restaurants across the country into relief centers with local chefs for any restaurant worker who has been laid off or has had a significant reduction in hours and/or pay.  We are offering help for those in need of food and supplies.  Over the duration of the program, we have packed thousands of to-go meals for service industry professionals.

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Touring Professionals Relief Kitchen


For this program, touring professionals, musicians and chefs are uniting to shine a spotlight on the live music crews and other specialists who deserve our attention. The Touring Professionals Alliance, in partnership with the LEE Initiative, is collaborating with some of the most renowned chefs in Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago and New York to provide crew with a quality, chef-driven dinner for them and their families.

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LEE Initiative Restaurant Reboot Relief Program


As restaurants around the country look towards reopening, The LEE Initiative is committed to helping reset the supply chains for farmers and restaurant operators who are committed to sustainable food. The LEE Initiative’s Restaurant Reboot Relief Program is committing at least $1 million to purchasing food from sustainable farmers in 16 regions and giving that food directly to restaurants in those areas. The restaurants that have hosted relief centers in those areas will be receiving the food and helping to select which other restaurants will be receiving the food as well.

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Family Meal is a partnership between The LEE Initiative, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), Louisville Metro, Churchill Downs, Audi, and Humana, and will feed families who have children enrolled in JCPS.

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McAtee Community Kitchen, provides family meals, groceries, supplies, and ongoing opportunities to families in need across Louisville’s West End, Shelby Park, and Smoketown neighborhoods. Chef Nikkia Rhodes leads McAtee Community Kitchen, in partnership with the existing efforts of Children Shouldn’t Hunger, an organization aimed at building community and ending youth hunger.

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We’re hosting South-wide bake sales in partnership with the Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice. SRRJ has partnered with The LEE Initiative to create a pandemic emergency relief fund to support Black-owned restaurants in the South. Each participating business donates 10-15 large format items at $40 – or can donate a percentage of their sales.

Participating Cities:
Athens, Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville, Louisville, Nashville, Raleigh, and Savannah
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Providing immediate relief for culinary communities across Kentucky in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Regrow offers critical financial support and assistance to restaurants and food service workers in the devastating wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Our goal is to strengthen the region’s vibrant and growing culinary scene to support its return as a powerful economic and cultural engine.

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We believe there is a pressing need for more women to be in higher ranking positions in the restaurant industry. Only then, will a more balanced space exist for creativity, equality, ability and positivity. 

One of the ways the LEE Initiative hopes to address this void in leadership is through our eight-month program called the Women Chefs Program. By shining a spotlight on unsung women in the culinary industry, we intend to elevate their presence as well as their capability. 

As we enter our third year of the program, the LEE Initiative will once again award five chefs from Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Cincinnati the opportunity to learn from successful culinary leaders, hands on experience and leadership skill building opportunities.

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