Richmond Chef Pledges Profits from Restaurant to Fighting Hunger
Chef Jason Alley is revamping the business model at his Richmond, VA restaurant to give back to his community. In a Monday afternoon Facebook post, the chef announced that he would be donating all net profits from Comfort to fight local hunger, starting March 1.
"After being an active part of the Richmond Community for the last 15 years, we have decided that now it is time that we give back in a more permanent and meaningful way," Alley writes in the post. "We asked ourselves what more could we do to help, and realized this was the next step."
The restaurant is partnering with FeedMore, Central Virginia’s core hunger-relief organization. FeedMore provides essential services for many people in the area, including students who don't have access to breakfast and lunch (through their Kids Cafe, BackPack and Summer Food Service programs.) They also serve nutritious meals to seniors through Meals on Wheels.
"We have done anti-hunger work for a long time now through benefits and public speaking engagements—you know, kind of the regular channels, and my partner Michele Jones and I have wanted to give back in a more permanent way for a
while now," Alley tells Food & Wine. "We’ve spent time digging into the best way to do it, and we decided that shifting the business model entirely was the way to have the most lasting, sustainable impact."
For Alley and Jones, the issue is personal. "We both grew up poor and food insecure, so the issue is very near to our hearts," he says. "The fact that so many people still suffer from food insecurity is baffling and tragic. We hope that we can help alleviate at least some of that worry for folks in our community."
The chef says that the response to his announcement has been "overwhelming." But above all? "It's just super exciting."