Over 1,000,000 meals served by 30 chef partner restaurants in cities across the US
See list below



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Thank you as always to our partners at Maker’s Mark and Audi and to all of the donors who make our work possible.

Due to the closure of restaurants across America during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of restaurant workers had an urgent need for assistance. Independent restaurants are at the center of the vibrant growth in America. For the past decade, we have relied on the convivial and dynamic hospitality of the independent restaurant scene to make this a city that we are incredibly proud of.  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 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 offered help for those in need of food and supplies.  Each night, we packed hundreds of to-go meals that people picked up to take home for them and their families. 

Thanks to all of our generous partners who have helped us run relief kitchens across the country, we have given out over one million meals and thousands of pounds of supplies while restaurants were closed due to COVID.

Over the course of these efforts, supply chain issues became painfully apparent across the nation. As restaurants around the country re-open their doors, we are shifting our partnerships to focus on creating and maintaining long-term relationships between restaurants and small, sustainable farms. We hope this new program, Restaurant Reboot, will play a role in creating the new approach to food we see emerging across the country. 

Thank you to everyone who has made this possible and will continue to help us support the restaurant industry.


Dinners are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Limit 1 package per person unless there is an emergency situation.  We also have essential supplies on hand. We limit how much any one person can take of these supplies, but they will be handed out free to those in need. We will continue to offer this program as it is needed and until we can no longer financially support the program. Pickup information varies from restaurant to restaurant; please check with partner restaurants for the most updated information.


Atlanta | Bay Area | Boston | Brooklyn (Olmsted) | Chicago | Cincinnati | Detroit | Houston | Indiana (Southern) | Lexington | Louisville | Los Angeles | Nashville | New Orleans | Raleigh | Seattle | Washington, D.C.

Eugene and Elizabeth’s
Atlanta, GA
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Bay Area / Oakland, CA

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Blue Dragon
Boston, MA
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Brooklyn, NY

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West Town Bakery
Chicago, IL
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Cincinnati, OH
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Lady of the House
Detroit, MI
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Houston, TX
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Pints & Union
New Albany, IN
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Great Bagel
Lexington, KY
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610 Magnolia
Louisville, KY
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Los Angeles, CA
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Otaku To-Go
Nashville, TN
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New Orleans, LA
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Raleigh, NC
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Seattle, WA
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Washington, D.C.
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The Founding mission of The LEE Initiative has always been to come up with fast and forward thinking solutions to address problems in our industry. 

The most pressing need is to take care of our hospitality industry family.  We want them to know that they are not alone, we are here for them.  We will all get through this by coming together and supporting one another.  

Thank you to Nancy Silverton at Chi Spacca in Los Angeles; Jose Salazar at Mita’s in Cincinnati; Edouardo Jordan at Salare in Seattle; Paul Kahan at his Wicker Park Big Star location in Chicago; Alon Shaya at Safta in Denver; Greg Braxtrom at Olmsted and Nate Adler at Gertie’s, both in Brooklyn; Donald Link at Cochon in New Orleans; Lara Swan and Samantha Fore at Great Bagel Bakery in Lexington; and Linton Hopkins at Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta as well as Edward Lee’s Succotash team in D.C and 610 Magnolia team in Louisville.