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Free food boxes distributed to Boise restaurant workers in need

Many restaurant workers have had huge loss of income, and not just waiters but prep workers, managers and cleaning staff. This event is for them.

BOISE, Idaho — It has been an extremely difficult year for people working in the restaurant industry due to the COVID pandemic, especially in downtown Boise.

St. Vincent de Paul was looking to make the holidays a bit brighter Wednesday when volunteers distributed food relief boxes to any restaurant worker who needs help. 

Organizers reached out to all restaurants in downtown Boise and coordinated with the city to notify people about the event. A lot of people responded and are excited about receiving the free food boxes.

St. Vincent de Paul parked two trucks on 8th Street directly across from the Fork restaurant from 2-4 p.m. The event was held between typical restaurant shifts for ease of access.

Ralph May is the Executive Director of St. Vincent de Paul. He explains why this was an important event for restaurant workers.

"They're struggling to make ends meet, their incomes are cut dramatically, demand for their services are down dramatically, it's a difficult situation," May said. "We feel like it's a critical thing. Anybody that's struggling a bit right at the holidays, this is a big thing to have one less thing to worry about."

St. Vincent de Paul distributed about 500 food boxes for Boise restaurant workers. The food boxes had enough turkey breasts and sides to put together a nice meal.

This is an additional special food distribution outside of St. Vincent de Paul's normal pantry services and availability designed to assist restaurant workers in downtown Boise.

The Overland center is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. for drive-thru service this week and next.