When thousands of live events were canceled and venues shut down for the unforeseeable future following the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of touring professionals—bus and truck drivers, lighting, merchandise and venue personnel, roadies, video technicians, and many others—were also left out of a job, without an income and few resources to help them cope, much less put food on the table.
In December of 2020, the Touring Professionals Alliance (TPA), a non-profit offering aid to crews and individuals working behind the scenes in live music, partnered with The LEE Initiative, which works to feed and employ those out of work restaurant employees, to address the unprecedented issues facing touring professionals following COVID by forming the Touring Professionals Relief Kitchen (TPRK).
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the TPRK serves hundreds of free meals to touring professionals in Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, and New York, directly from the kitchens of partner restaurants, featuring some of the top chefs in the industry.
Participating restaurants and chefs include Chicago’s Stephanie Izard of The Girl and the Goatand Grant Achatz of Roister Restaurant; Sqirl and chef Jessica Koslow and Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, Vinny Dotolo of Petit Trois Le Valley in Los Angeles; Sean Brock of Audrey and Maneet Chauhan of Chaatable in Nashville; and Billy Durney with New York’s Industry City Space and Red Rooster under chef Marcus Samuelsson.
“Touring Professionals Alliance is steadfastly focused on providing aid to the thousands of individuals who work behind the scenes in live music touring who have been severely impacted by the pandemic,” says Jerome Crooks, TPA co-founder and tour manager for Nine Inch Nails, TOOL, and Beastie Boys. “We are grateful to The LEE Initiative for the partnership in providing meals to those in our industry in need.”
To date, The LEE Initiative, founded by Chef Edward Lee and Lindsey Ofcacek, has served more than one million meals for individuals within the restaurant and music industries since March 2020.
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