The Houston-based nonprofit has been working tirelessly to help those in the restaurant industry during the coronavirus crisis.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
November 13, 2020
Advertisement
ABC/John Fleenor
| Credit: ABC/John Fleenor

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Chef Chris Shepherd's Houston-based Southern Smoke Foundation has been a lifeline to the restaurant industry, distributing more than $3,361,762 to restaurant and bar workers in need right now. Though Shepherd originally co-founded the nonprofit in 2015 to help a friend and former sommelier who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, in 2017, Southern Smoke forged a new path and began providing aid to those in the food and beverage industry in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. It was then that David Chang, chef and founder of Momofuku and host of Netflix's Ugly Delicious, first became acquainted with the celebrated Houston chef, participating in his annual fundraising festival. The 2017 bash was quite the event, raising a total of more than $500,000 for Houstonians in the restaurant industry.

Fast forward to this year, and Chang is standing at the ready again to help Southern Smoke Foundation in its efforts to provide relief to restaurant workers during the coronavirus crisis. This Sunday, he'll be appearing on ABC's latest episode of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, in a special season featuring frontline heroes along with celebrities playing for charities. “I’m so honored that Dave chose Southern Smoke as his charity,” said Shepherd in a press release. “He’s been so supportive of this organization for so long, and the visibility from the show will do so much to shine a light on the needs of our industry.”

Tune in to ABC this Sunday, November 15, at 9 p.m. ET/PT to watch Chang take his spin at becoming a millionaire philanthropist. We know we'll be cheering at our television screens loudly for this one.

If you'd like to make a donation to support the Southern Smoke Foundation, click here.

During this difficult time, we're sending out our love to all those in the hospitality industry. Remember, an expressive thank you, a compliment on your meal, and a generous tip can go a long way in turning someone's day around.

This story originally appeared on southernliving.com