Covid-19 has had an immense impact on so many industries and individuals over the last two months — especially those working in the healthcare and restaurant industries. More than 8 million restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed, with $80 billion lost in sales as of the end of April (source). And countless healthcare workers across the country continue to work tirelessly to support millions of Americans in need of critical care.
That’s why we’re teaming up with Lyft and Off Their Plate to support frontline healthcare workers, while restoring work to the local restaurant workforce. Since launching in mid-March, the grassroots movement Off Their Plate has raised funds that will support the creation and delivery of 400,000 meals nationally, partnering with top chefs and restaurants across the country, such as Boston’s Tracy Chang (PAGU), San Francisco’s Kenji Lopez-Alt (Wursthall), and DC’s Ris Lacoste (Ris).
Today, Sonder is making a commitment to donate a minimum of 1,000 meals to Off Their Plate, with the potential for thousands more when booking code “SonderOTP” is used for future reservations. Each booking will result in five additional meals donated, and a $50 credit towards each stay. Not only will this bring meals to healthcare professionals at the frontline of COVID-19, but it will also provide economic relief to restaurant workers in participating cities. In parallel, Lyft will be providing access to free ride credits to workers in need of transportation to Off Their Plate’s partner restaurants in cities across the U.S., including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC. Free bikeshare memberships will also be available to restaurant workers on select networks where Lyft operates, including the New York (Citi Bike) and Boston systems. Both ride credits and bikeshare memberships will be distributed at the discretion of Off Their Plate and restaurants.
“We look forward to collaborating with Sonder and Lyft to launch this unique initiative, which focuses on supporting three industries at the center of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Natalie Guo, Founder of Off Their Plate. “Our priority is to provide income continuity to our restaurant partners while serving nutritious meals to healthcare staff and those in greatest need, and we’re excited for this new campaign to help us expand our impact.”
Every $100,000 donated to Off Their Plate serves approximately 10,000 healthcare workers a nutritious meal, and provides more than $50,000 in economic relief for otherwise unemployed restaurant workers — many of whom cannot depend on unemployment benefits. Off Their Plate’s restaurant partners are committed to providing sanitary and safe working conditions, and over 50% of donations are directed towards economic relief for workers.
“We’re thrilled to partner with both Off Their Plate and Lyft to support local restaurant and healthcare workers across the country, who are still in need of incoming business and fresh food,” said Lara Birkes, Head of Social Impact, Partnerships and Sustainability at Sonder. “By making it easy for Sonder guests to opt in to support this effort for stays at any point in the future, we look forward to bringing travelers along with us on this journey to get behind a truly meaningful cause.”
This initiative is especially meaningful for Sonder, given Operations Manager Cassandra Lewis’s prominent role in helping launch Off Their Plate in DC. The organization is powered by roughly 200 young professional volunteers and united by a shared passion for supporting frontline communities impacted by this crisis. And as a locally-driven organization, Sonder has always made it a priority to support local restaurants and businesses, making this specific initiative that much more meaningful.
“We want to increase access to transportation for those who need it, particularly to meet their essential needs during this time. By activating LyftUp, we’re able to partner with Off Their Plate and Sonder to fill mobility needs and to help restaurant workers get to work where they’re contributing to feeding healthcare professionals,” said Lisa Boyd, Director of Social Impact at Lyft. “We’re also grateful to all those who drive with Lyft for helping provide rides for those in need. Lyft will be supporting drivers by creating new opportunities to help them earn additional income through the Lyft app and continuously working to protect their safety.”
“Partnering with Off Their Plate has both brought more business back to our restaurant, and helped us provide more work opportunities for our staff, while also allowing us to support our healthcare heroes who are hard at work,” said Alex Tannenbaum, Founder of Naco Taco in Boston. “We were thrilled to hear about this new collaboration with Sonder and Lyft and their efforts to provide much needed resources to those in need. I’m optimistic about the collective impact we can all have together.”