As the restaurant and hospitality industries continue to be devastated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, FreshDirect, the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, has partnered with Restaurant Associates, the nation’s premier on-site dining management company, on a new initiative, “RA Kitchen.” This alliance will provide FreshDirect with a rotating selection of great tasting, prepared meal solutions for its customers, while bringing Restaurant Associates employees back to work.
In addition, for every meal purchased, FreshDirect and Restaurant Associates will donate a meal to New Yorkers in need through the NY Common Pantry, whose mission is to reduce hunger while promoting dignity, health and self-sufficiency for the populations they serve.
“RA Kitchen” is a strategic collaboration that offers solutions at a critical time. It expands FreshDirect’s capacity in the prepared food category, allowing the company to serve more customers with ready-to-eat, mission-driven meals that only require heating. At the same time, the partnership helps bring back Restaurant Associates’ cooks who were out of work as a result of the economic toll of the virus.
“The devastation this health pandemic is causing across the New York restaurant industry hits close to home, as I started my career in restaurants, as a cook,” said David McInerney, CEO and Co-Founder, FreshDirect. “By partnering with Restaurant Associates, we have the opportunity to bring some of their employees back to work, while offering our customers great meal solutions, and best of all, continuing to give back and support NY Common Pantry in their efforts to serve the many food insecure people in our community. Their mission is more vital than ever as we anticipate the rise of unemployment, which will lead to even more people facing uncertainty and worrying about where their next meal will come from. No one should face that fear.”
“Restaurant Associates is thrilled to partner with another longstanding NYC company, FreshDirect, to provide mission-driven ready-to-heat meals,” added Restaurant Associates President, Ed Brown. “For us this is a win-win-win partnership where we get to put our teams back to work, provide our community with comforting and delicious food, all the while supporting the food insecure.”
“We are grateful for the continued support of FreshDirect and Restaurant Associates, and this new combined initiative,” stated Stephen Grimaldi, Executive Director, NY Common Pantry. “The consequences of COVID19 on NY Common Pantry and its exacerbating the already existing crisis of food insecurity in NYC has just begun. The number of new registrants at our two pantry locations is alarming. With unemployment skyrocketing, we see demand escalating even further. Every donation right now is critical.”
Earlier this year, FreshDirect and NY Common Pantry announced a philanthropic partnership in which FreshDirect customers contributed to NY Common Pantry through point-of-sale donations which directly benefitted the organization. The generosity of the FreshDirect customer base has been overwhelming – over the last two months, customers have donated over $340,000 to NY Common Pantry.
FreshDirect is the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, delivering next day, same day and on-demand directly to customers throughout seven states, including the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce, and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers, and farmers. Launched in 2002, FreshDirect is a privately held company headquartered in Bronx, NY.
Restaurant Associates (RA), a member of Compass Group, is recognized as the nation’s premier on-site dining management company. RA delivers hospitality excellence to guests at corporate workplaces, cultural and entertainment centers, professional schools, and catered events in metro New York City, Washington DC, Boston, and Atlanta. Since the 1950’s, we’ve delivered culinary excellence and unparalleled hospitality to some of the most recognizable institutions and brands in the world.
New York Common Pantry reduces hunger and promotes dignity, health, and self-sufficiency throughout New York City. In 2019, NYCP distributed nearly 6.5 million meals to those in need. Additionally, NYCP provides a broad spectrum of support for individuals and families, which include distribution of fresh produce and groceries, nutrition education, and case management.