Nonprofit aids restaurant workers in crisis

ATLANTA — The death of a young chef in Atlanta led to the start of a non-profit aimed towards helping restaurant workers in crisis.

The Giving Kitchen started in February of last year. The organization offers grants for restaurant workers who get sick or injured. It was born out of a big loss and a desire to help out others and already has dozens of restaurants in Atlanta giving and participating.

Canyon Williams told Channel 2’s Carol Sbarge, she loves being a server at Barcelnoa wine bar and restaurant in Atlanta. But the single mother of three suddenly found herself unable to do her job.

“I got into a really horrible accident going home late night on the expressway and I hit the wall,” Williams said.

Her injuries meant she couldn’t work for at least six months.

“I just thought my world was coming to an end. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to afford any of our activities, any of our bills,” Williams said.

Then she heard about grants offered by The Giving Kitchen to Atlanta restaurant worker’s dealing with unexpected hardships.

It started when Jennifer Hidinger’s now deceased chef husband was diagnosed with the stage four cancer.

"When my husband was diagnosed and we saw the amount of rallying just to help this one couple really was just a profound ah-ha moment for us,” Hidinger said.

"The individuals within our community, within the restaurant community typically tend to live paycheck to paycheck," Hidinger said.

The Giving Kitchen has a fundraising event next month called “The Caked Multiple Joy” campaign. For 31 days restaurants are participating. Customers can also participate and donate money when they pay for their meals.