First started in March 2020 in response to the pandemic, the program provides meal kits to those in the local hospitality industry impacted by layoffs, hours reductions, mandatory shutdowns, and capacity restrictions.
“Northwest D.C. is not the easiest place to get to for everyone,” Hook Hall Helps founder Anna Valero, who also owns the bar and event space Hook Hall, tells ARLnow. “What was important to us in choosing to expand to another location was accessibility. The hope is being able to provide and meet people more where they are.”
Meal kit distribution is happening every Thursday from 3-5 p.m., starting this week, “while there’s a need,” says Valero.
What made The Freshman attractive as the program’s second outpost is that it is on different Metro and bus lines as Hook Hall, while providing more parking. Plus, Valero says, restaurant owner Nick Freshman’s “values aligned, he’s a fantastic individual in the hospitality community, and he generously offered his space.”
Despite announcing its opening nearly two years ago, The Freshman has yet to open due to the pandemic. Nick Freshman is also a co-owner of Clarendon’s Spider Kelly’s.
The meal kits are made up of three ready-made meals and a “supply” kit with canned soup, granola bars, fruit, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products.
The kits are being crafted by Valero and a rotating list of local restaurants, including nearby Indian eatery Rasa. Beyond providing meals, the program also helps restaurateurs keep staff employed.
From last March to the end of June, Hook Hall was providing meals on a daily basis, supported by donations to the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. The program raised more than $600,000 and provided more than 10,000 meals during that time frame.
They paused operations in the summer due to patios reopening and restaurants able to increase staffing and operations because of outdoor dining.
However, Valero knew that the winter was coming.
“We made a strategic decision… to essentially hold back as much of the funds that had been raised to that point, knowing that when winter came, it was going to be difficult,” she says.
They re-started the program at Hook Hall at the end of December with distribution on Mondays while adding an Arlington location.
Valero says the aim is that if people are in need, they can go to both distributions. They could do a pick-up for four days worth of food on Monday in D.C. and, then, come to Arlington on Thursday for the rest of the week.
Anybody who works in the hospitality industry is eligible. The term “hospitality industry” is defined broadly and includes hotels — many of which are clustered around the new Crystal City location.
“It’s not just restaurants and bars. We rely so heavily on tourism and events here,” Valero says. “We define the hospitality industry to include hotel workers and folks from the events industry as well.”
In order to pick-up the kits, individuals need to either provide a pay stub or show a work schedule with the individual’s name on it. One kit is provided per individual and pre-registration is requested (though not required) to help with better preparation.
It doesn’t matter if the individual is unemployed, dealing with reduced hours, or fully employed, there’s an understanding that the industry is hurting.
“The reality is that workers are still in need. There’s a lot of uncertainty about unemployment benefits. They have run out for a lot of people,” says Valero. “You could be gainfully employed right now and still be food insecure.”
Photo courtesy of Hook Hall Helps
As Arlington County continues collecting feedback on the preliminary concept plan to turn Langston Blvd into a “Green Main Street” over several decades, a few disagreements have emerged. Some say…
RSVP to learn about the Forestry and Natural Resources Plan during the virtual open house tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Within the first five minutes of Netflix’s new series Partner Track, Arlington native and Yorktown High School graduate Alexandra Turshen already has her “boss” moment by telling the new paralegal…
The Arlington Art Truck is back this fall starting October 1 with an exhibit focused on Arlington’s birds.
Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!
Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!
Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above. In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?
All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).
When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM.
Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying