Bell’s Restaurant in Los Alamos and Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People have partnered to deliver warm meals three days a week to local seniors, families and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new initiative, "Feed the Valley," was organized to keep both local families fed and restaurant employees affected by the pandemic working, a spokeswoman for People Helping People said.
According to Valerie Kissell, CEO of People Helping People, the demand for assistance throughout the community has steadily risen over the last year.
“Our staff are answering more calls for rental and utility assistance in a single day than we would have during an entire month in previous years," Kissell said. "We have families living in hotels and cars right here in our beautiful Valley. We have individuals unsure where their next meal is going to come from."
Kissell said that creative thinking and forming new partnerships are necessary to help meet the community's growing needs.
"We are inspired by Daisy and Greg Ryan’s leadership to Feed the Valley," she said. "Through this collaboration, we not only deliver a warm meal but we show people that our community takes care of our neighbors.”
Greg and Daisy Ryan, owners of Bell’s Restaurant in Los Alamos, explained that Feed the Valley was established to help keep restaurant staff employed in a healthy and safe manner, and pave the way for other restaurants in the area to help feed and nourish those who need it most.
“We quickly made it our mission to retain our staff and make sure that they had money in their pockets during this confusing and stressful time," the Ryans said. "While we have reopened outside dining on our patio, we remain committed to helping feed our Valley."
The Ryans explained that forming a partnership with People Helping People has benefitted the overall mission to distribute healthy and substantial meals to more vulnerable community members.
"People Helping People has a long history serving individuals and families throughout Santa Ynez and Los Alamos and we are glad they are joining our mission,” they said. “But we can’t do it alone. Through your tax-deductible donations, we can save countless jobs and ensure the continued health of our community. By acting together, we can both preserve the Valley we love and plant seeds of generosity that will far outlast this season of uncertainty.”
To learn more or donate, visit Feed The Valley at www.feedthevalley.org.
Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record.
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