March 19, 2020
Rallying together to support nonprofits and workers in need
The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted the North Texas service industry, resulting in many displaced workers. The crisis has also caused an increased number of individuals experiencing economic insecurity to seek support from nonprofits, especially in terms of hunger relief. Nonprofit food distribution and food pantry providers are reporting that demand for their services has increased 2.5–3 times their normal rate, with more than 50% of demand coming from new clients they haven’t served before.
Nonprofits now require more volunteers to help fulfill our community’s escalating
demand, yet the nonprofit volunteer base has decreased as community members are
encouraged to stay home and shelter in place.
The Get Shift Done for North Texas Initiative was launched to employ affected hourly workers in the hospitality industry to perform shifts for nonprofit organizations and institutions trying to meet community demand during the COVID-19 crisis. The Get Shift Done for North Texas Fund was established at Communities Foundation of Texas to raise money to provide wages to hourly workers, who then serve volunteer shifts at local nonprofits, preparing and delivering meals for those in need. Once urgent needs related to COVID-19 subside, any remaining funds will be used to support nonprofits that provide workforce development and hunger relief. As of mid-April, more than $2 million has been raised through the fund.
Local business and community leaders Anurag Jain and Patrick Brandt launched the idea with support from their respective companies, community leaders, restaurant owners, and nonprofit organizations, such as the North Texas Food Bank, where Jain currently serves as board chair.
“We want to do our part and help our community during this crisis,” said Patrick Brandt, President of Shiftsmart, a worker-centric online marketplace that helps companies fill staffing requirements. Patrick has been a long time partner of CFT through our CFT for Business initiative.
"We saw that the volunteer population for our local nonprofits were experiencing an escalating need for volunteers during this crisis and the at-risk population needs for food and resources were spiking," says Anurag Jain, Chairman of Access Healthcare and Managing Partner of Perot Jain.
"We also know there is a large number of workers in the food and beverage hospitality industry that are currently in need of work. Our goal is to help both workers and nonprofits facilitate delivering meals to those in need while providing wages to the affected shift workers," Jain added.
The Shiftsmart platform and operations team will manage the onboarding, matching, scheduling, dispatching, and routing of workers to perform shifts. The existing infrastructure of food banks will be leveraged to match affected workers with available shifts. Restaurant industry leaders will then offer and schedule their staff shifts at North Texas based nonprofit organizations preparing, assembling, and delivering meals at a wage rate of $10/hour, paid from the Get Shift Done for North Texas Fund at CFT.
Through a partnership with the North Texas Food Bank, beginning on March 19th, over one million meals per week will be distributed through this initiative while providing more than $250,000 of wages to over 1,000 workers per week.
The Get Shift Done initiative is currently serving more than 20 local nonprofits and has received national attention. CFT has created the Get Shift Done for America relief fund and has been helping to identify local foundation partners to support the launch of this initiative in other cities, including El Paso, Houston, New Orleans, and Washington D.C.
Nonprofits are able to submit a form online requesting support from this new paid force of volunteers.
"We're so grateful to Patrick, Anurag and the community leaders involved for partnering with CFT to create this opportunity. This innovative model allows those in the hospitality industry to help others, while also helping themselves during this extraordinary time of need," said Sejal Desai, CFT's business engagement director.
Learn More Through the GetShiftDone.org website
Did you know? A gift of $400 is equivalent to one week of wages, $1,600 is equivalent to 4 weeks of wages, and so on. Any amount you give provides critical relief to fellow community members in need.
Questions? Contact Sejal Desai, Business Engagement Director, CFT For Business at firstname.lastname@example.org