Atlanta restaurant staff cooking up meals for laid off hospitality workers

Inside a moving truck, Hopkins and Company Hospitality staff spent Friday packing fresh meals into paper bags.

They're handing them out to drivers stopping by.

"It really is just about fresh from scratch food," Owner Linton Hopkins said. "Chicken pot pie was our first meal."

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On the receiving end of those to-go meals, folks who are usually the one serving - restaurant workers.

"One meal can feed maybe three kids. So we’re seeing all these families come in. One person will come to pick up, they’ll pick up meals for like 5 to 8 people," Hopkins said.

Thousands of restaurant employees have been laid off or had a reduction in hours or pay due to the coronavirus.

SEE ALSO: Reporting business, organization violating statewide shelter-in-place order

Hopkins said he made the tough decision to lay off more than 300 workers.

"Our industry has gotten smacked upside the head with this. I mean we’re all just trying to figure out what to do."

To help people stay afloat, Hopkins, Maker's Mark, and the Lee Initiative came together to form the Restaurant Workers Relief Program.

They're driving the pickup truck to different locations across Atlanta every day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to reach as many workers in need of food and supplies.

"This is people's lives and we take that really seriously," Hopkins explained.

SEE ALSO: Reporting potential price gouging in the state of Georgia

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The set-up is like a drive-thru to make sure everyone stays six-feet apart.

There are also plans to start home deliveries for workers and meal deliveries to nearby hospitals.

"We're doing everything we can to protect each other during this time," Hopkins explained.

SEE ALSO: Who is considered an 'essential worker' during the coronavirus pandemic?

Hopkins said they plan to keep cooking until the money and food donations run out.

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