Hospitality industry employees help feed hundreds of forgotten co-workers across SoCal

The massive effort by a small group of hospitality workers is putting food on the table for others in the industry who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The massive effort by a small group of hospitality workers is putting food on the table for others in the industry who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

The name of their group is also their mantra: NO US WITHOUT YOU.

Five months ago, when they started the venture, the group helped 10 families. Now, with food distributions like one in the Arts District near downtown Los Angeles, they're helping more than 700 families.

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The group is helping the hospitality workers who usually work behind the scene in restaurants.

"Quickly, everyone was forgetting about the back of the house and primarily the undocumented in Los Angeles," Co-Founder Othon Nolasco said. "So once we saw restaurants shut down, there'd be no unemployment for them and they haven't got a stimulus check. They haven't worked in five months, and a lot of them are families, so that's why we created this."

The restaurant industry is helping NO US WITHOUT YOU contact families in need. The group reaches unemployed workers via text, informing them where the food distributions will take place.

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The food distributions are held Tuesdays and Thursdays at different areas across Southern California.

Gaspar Zaragosa is one of the hundreds of out-of-work hospitality workers. He said he's grateful for the group's efforts, which is helping to feed his family while he looks for work.
Sharon Rodriguez echoed Gaspar's sentiment.

"It has been tough for a lot of people, and this work is amazing," she said. "We feel very blessed that they're helping us out, and it's very incredible what they're doing."

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Vesta Food Service, based out of Santa Fe Springs, is helping with the food.

NO US WITHOUT YOU has received their 501(c)(3) charitable status -- allowing them to pursue help from donors for food and cash. They plan on keeping this work up for the long haul.

"At this point, we're not capping it off," said Co-Founder Damian Diaz. "We thought 300 or 400 people would be enough -- it's far more. The outcry is far more out there that what we'd expect."

The group says they're on pace to help 700 to 800 families this week -- with well over 1,000 anticipated by month's end.
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