The National Restaurant Association reported U.S. restaurant industry losses of $120 billion in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and future losses are still unknown.

While COVID-19 has brought devastation and disruption, it has also shown the great strength and resilience of the culinary community. Restaurants, coffee and smoothie shops, bars, foodservice operators and food-related nonprofits are finding innovative ways to move forward, and even more innovative ways to thank local heroes and lend a hand to those in need.

Here are just a few inspiring examples of compassion and service radiating from the foodservice community and food-related nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic:

World Central Kitchen

World Central Kitchen (WCK), an organization dedicated to providing “a hot plate of food where it’s needed most,” is actively distributing individually packaged, fresh meals in dozens of cities across the U.S. – more than 150,000 meals per day. Better yet, WCK’s #ChefsForAmerica initiative taps currently unemployed or underemployed restaurant workers and drivers to support its pandemic-related meal initiatives. To date, the program has served nearly 20 million meals to those in need.

World Central Kitchen V1

Smoothie King

Smoothie King and its franchisees donated $1,000,000 in smoothies to local hospitals, testing centers, police and fire stations and other essential workplaces across the country during the month of April. Franchisees and team members blended, packaged and delivered thousands of nutritious, meal-replacement smoothies to aid medical professionals, first responders and other essential workers in their health journeys during this most critical time.

No Kid Hungry

Children across the U.S. are significantly impacted by the pandemic, and No Kid Hungry is doing its part to ensure vulnerable kids have access to food, despite school closures. No Kid Hungry has a track record of improving and expanding programs to provide kids with daily access to healthy meals – so it’s no surprise the organization is expanding its efforts during COVID-19.

World Central Kitchen V2

Vitamix is proud to support these initiatives; in fact, we’ve dedicated more than $60,000 to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through the above organizations.

“At Vitamix, we’re inspired by the strength and resilience of our partners in the culinary industry, and grateful to be able to support a handful of the critical initiatives right now,” said Lisa Klein, vice president, global commercial sales, Vitamix. “To our restaurant partners: When you’re ready to move forward – and one day you will be – we’ll be here to help. In the meantime, we’ll continue to support you and others impacted by the pandemic.”

Want to do your part to help during the pandemic? Donate to your favorite food-related charity, like World Central Kitchen or No Kid Hungry … and support your local restaurants. Visit We Are Still Open or Dining at a Distance to find restaurants open for takeout, curbside pickup, or delivery.