(McDonough, GA) – Visit Henry County, GA and Connecting Henry collected more than two tons of food for hospitality staff impacted by COVID-19 during the Help for Hospitality Food Drive.
Representing more than 2,600 people, Henry County’s hospitality community has been greatly impacted by interruptions to business caused by COVID-19. The pandemic shut down attractions and events, limited restaurants to take-out and dramatically reduced the number of travelers staying at hotels, leaving the staff from many locations furloughed, laid off or with reduced hours.
“Our Partner Relations Manager, Janna Szeto, knew from the early stages of this pandemic that the hospitality employees, not just the businesses, were going to need significant support and require us to pivot our efforts during this time,” said Visit Henry County, GA Director of Tourism Laura Luker, “Because of her rapport with our partners, she was able to identify specific needs and begin immediately working towards a solution.”
The Help for Hospitality Food Drive kicked off on April 14 as a way to collect food for the employees of this hard hit industry. During the last six weeks, donations of food and money have allowed Visit Henry County, GA and Connecting Henry to collect more than 4,800 pounds of non-perishable food. According to FeedingAmerica.org, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, 1.2 pounds of food equals one meal. This means that through the generous donations of local citizens and businesses more than 4,000 meals will be able to be provided to local displaced hospitality workers and their families.
"It has been our pleasure to serve and a privilege to work with Visit Henry County, GA to collect food for the Help for Hospitality Food Drive,” said Connecting Henry Executive Director Barbara Coleman. “Anyone of us can find ourselves in a difficult situation through no fault of our own. Due to the outpouring of support and generosity from the caring citizens of this community, we exceeded our goals to help put food on the table for countless families. A special thank you to all that participated."
All food has been given to Helping in His Name Ministries to be distributed to families in need. Any Henry County resident who was or is employed by a hospitality business is eligible. Any hospitality staff in need of assistance should contact Connecting Henry at (770) 288-6230 in order to schedule a pick-up of an emergency food box at the Helping in His Name in Stockbridge.
The Henry County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a division of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce. The CVB’s mission is to inspire tourism by engaging partners and the community in order to build a sense of hospitality for Henry County visitors and stimulate economic development.