In an effort to revitalize restaurants in the south Bronx, Brookfield Properties announced a $1 million partnership with Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) and Rethink on July 2.
The partnership will speed up the reemployment of restaurant team members and provide more than 125,000 meals to food-insecure families of the south Bronx.
USHG will launch the partnership with Marta, Intersect by Lexus and Union Square Events, while also developing a mentorship program for smaller restaurants that participate. Restaurants can apply to be part of the program at rethinkfood.nyc/restaurant-response-program, which has turned restaurants into commissaries during COVID-19 and provided 1,000,000 meals for New Yorkers.
“The COVID-19 crisis has intensified New York City’s need for emergency food assistance and devastated its restaurant industry,” said Brookfield Property Group Managing Partner Ben Brown. “This new program is designed to help address both of these emergencies by reactivating local kitchens, helping them learn to navigate socially-distanced operations, and providing meals for vulnerable New Yorkers in need during the pandemic. We are grateful to Danny Meyer and Union Square Hospitality Group for providing the program’s initial locations and committing to assisting other restaurants, and to Rethink for administering the program that we hope will grow to encompass more locations and provide even more meals.”
Brookfield Properties’ partnership builds on Rethink’s Restaurant Response Program model, providing vital support to restaurants to rehire team members. The partnership also adds important additional support for New York City restaurants as they continue to reimagine their businesses through the City’s re-opening phases.
As additional independent restaurants are added to the program, USHG will share best practices and offer guidance around topics such as safety protocol, training materials, menu development, purchasing and operations. All participating restaurants will make a long-term commitment to Rethink to provide meals for those in need beyond the initial partnership.
“This is a fantastic program that provides a triple win for our community, our team members, and our businesses,” said Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of USHG. “Thanks to Rethink’s vision and food distribution networks, along with Brookfield Properties’ immense generosity, our kitchens can now be activated to help to feed our NYC community during this challenging time.”
Union Square Hospitality Group is the latest restaurant group to join Rethink’s efforts to feed those in need in NYC. On April 1, Rethink turned Eleven Madison Park into a commissary kitchen along with other restaurants like Crown Shy in the Financial District, La Morada in the Bronx, Little Tongs in the East Village, Katie O’s in Crown Heights and more. Under the leadership of Rethink’s founding board member Daniel Humm, the organization is set to expand nationwide in San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville and New Orleans in early July.
“It’s so important that other leading restaurant groups like Union Square Hospitality Group join us to feed those impacted by food insecurity both now and following the pandemic,” said CEO of Rethink Matt Jozwiak. “We’ve proven this model is successful to keep restaurants’ kitchens up and running, keep staff employed and most importantly, create the meals that are so desperately needed at all times, including in crisis.”