Kalamazoo group raises $25K to help restaurant workers

The grassroots effort seeks to provide financial help for restaurant workers struggling through the pandemic.

In late 2020, with the fall surge of the pandemic raging and many restaurants shuttered due to state restrictions, restaurant workers were hurting. That prompted two Kalamazoo County residents to action.

Todd Heeter and Jay Rustenholtz launched the #LocalLove Kalamazoo campaign in early December. The goal? To raise money to support restaurant employees who either couldn’t work or had their hours reduced during COVID restrictions.

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“Our whole thing is local love, a movement of kindness … So we want to spread hope and kindness and positivity throughout the community,” said Heeter in an interview with Fox 17.

Since then, the duo have launched a website and raised more than $25,000, which they intend to begin distributing to affected restaurant workers this week. Roughly 250 people have signed up for assistance so far.

You can read more here.

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