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Underground Kitchen partners with Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to expand food relief program

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 22:49:24-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- An acclaimed Richmond “roving dinner series” and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia are pairing up to help feed the Richmond area during the COVID-19 crisis.

Underground Kitchen and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, a Christian community serving nearly 68,000 members and 179 churches throughout Virginia, will partner as part of UGK’s “Community Comes First” food relief program, launched in March to help those in need during Virginia’s COVID-19 outbreaks.

Over the past two weeks, Underground Kitchen has worked with its team of chefs as well as partners, donors, and volunteers to distribute soup, bread, and tea for free to the metro RVA region. They specifically distribute to:

• Those who are home-bound due to health or logistical restrictions or because they are quarantined

• Emergency and health care workers, including EMT, fire, and police, who typically don’t have time after long shifts to shop or make a healthy meal

• Family members, care-givers, and patients who are in temporary residence in hospital houses while patients undergo treatment

• “Anyone who wants or needs a nourishing meal during these challenging times”

To date, more than 250 people have been served by the meal program.

Now, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church are providing their commercial-grade kitchens to Underground Kitchen in an effort to expand the distribution program.

“In this crisis, we must care for the most vulnerable members of our community,” said the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson, Assistant Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. “Acting together, we can alleviate hunger that isolation would otherwise cause. Our churches have commercial kitchens; Underground Kitchens has chefs and expertise – working together, we multiply what we could do individually. This collaboration will make Richmond a better, safer, and more compassionate city, and the Diocese of Virginia is honored to be in this partnership.”

“This is food with dignity,” added Underground Kitchen CEO and Founder Micheal Sparks. “No matter what your socio-economic background is, this effort is everyone. In the true spirit and tradition of Underground Kitchen, this is all about coming together as a community.”

For more information about the “Community Comes First” meal program, please visit theundergroundkitchen.org