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A collective of Detroit-based chefs are stepping up to combat food insecurity amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to Click On Detroit, chef Maxcel Hardy and other restaurateurs have teamed up with the Horatio Williams Foundation to feed those in need.

Aware that issues surrounding accessibility to food have been exacerbated due to the public health crisis, Hardy—an award-winning chef and owner of the restaurant COOP Caribbean Fusion—joined forces with other chefs from Detroit to come up with a solution. They collectively decided to use the kitchen at the Horatio Williams Foundation—a nonprofit that is focused on youth development—to prepare meals for individuals living in homeless shelters. The chefs serve the meals Monday through Friday and feed nearly 400 people a day. Since the creation of the initiative Hardy and the other chefs have distributed over 20,000 meals.

“We’re just trying to do what we can to make sure that we take care of most vulnerable folks here in Detroit, that being our homeless population,” Hardy told the news outlet. “It goes to who we are as Detroiters, because we know if nobody else will do it and look out for us, we look out for ourselves.” He also added that its important for individuals to consume foods that will help fight off the virus. The chefs have received donations from local farms to ensure the meals being provided are nutritious. They have also collaborated with local restaurants and distributors to collect food that was going to be thrown away.

Food insecurity has been a longstanding issue in Detroit. A report released by the Detroit Food Policy Council and the Detroit Health Department revealed 48 percent of households in the city don’t have access to affordable and nutritious food options.

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