Christensen has partnered with The Frankie Lemmon Foundation to provide money to struggling restaurant workers amidst coronavirus pandemic.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
March 24, 2020
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Chef Ashley Christensen
Credit: Courtesy Visit North Carolina

As businesses across America shutter amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the hospitality industry has been hit especially hard. With restaurants closing or limiting themselves only to takeout nationwide, many individuals—from chefs to bar-backs—are out of work. During these dark times, many are doing what they can to step up and help these members of our communities.

One such figure inspiring us with her kindness is James Beard award-winning Raleigh chef, Ashley Christensen, proprietor of AC Restaurants. Following North Carolina mandating that all restaurants and bars close indefinitely on March 17th, Christensen has partnered with the Frankie Lemmon Foundation—which supports a Raleigh school for kids with and without special needs—to launch a relief fund for Research Triangle-area restaurant workers.

“I have had a long relationship with Frankie Lemmon School, and we knew that they would be the perfect partner in helping our community with immediate fundraising needs. They added 'Food' to Triangle Wine and Food Experience [the foundation’s chief fundraising event] last year, and they meant it,” said Christensen, in a press release.

“We are so grateful to all of the chefs and restaurant workers who have supported the Frankie Lemmon mission over the years through fundraising and participation in Triangle Wine and Food Experience, and now is the time for us to return that support,” said Marsha Hargette, executive director of the Frankie Lemmon Foundation, in the same statement.

To make a donation to the Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, click here. Grants for restaurant workers will be awarded through an application process overseen by an independent committee of non-restaurant owners. Any hospitality worker that lives in the Triangle and has experienced wage loss due to coronavirus closures can apply here.

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During these uncertain times, it's incredibly moving to see so many pitch in to help those in need. We'd love to hear from you: Who in your neighborhood is doing something amazing to help others?