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Last year came with many hardships. Fortunately, many caring individuals stood up and helped others when they needed it most. Among them is DLE Alum Charles Lerner.
In his role as the Tao Cares Engagement Coordinator for the Tao Group restaurant company, Charles coordinated a partnership with City Harvest, an organization that collects produce to create meals for NYC shelters.
As Charles explains, “City Harvest provided the produce, Tao provided protein and cooked the food and then City Harvest delivered the meals.”
Tao initially started making food for employees as relief when the pandemic struck. The company started a personal food bank for employees before partnering with City Harvest and receiving funding from companies such as Pepsi. But when things in NYC got worse, they could not sit by. Tao used its resources to help. “Tao is a big family, and we wanted to take care of our own. When we were notified that food insecurity was up 500%, we knew we needed to do something bigger,” notes Charles.
Together, Tao and City Harvest donated 36,000 meals to shelters across the city. The partnership donated 400 meals every Friday and Saturday night. As things have started to return to “normal” and shuttered restaurants are opening their doors, Tao and City Harvest’s partnership is winding down. Charles notes that Tao restaurants are now at 50% capacity.
Proud of the partnership he forged, Charles truly believes that good can emerge when things go wrong.