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Inside Philly’s ambitious plan to put caterers back to work serving the homeless

On Thursday, in a parallel universe where a novel coronavirus did not spread into a global pandemic, Catering by Design was scheduled to serve dinner at an elegant opera fund-raiser for the homeless-services provider Broad Street Ministry.

That, of course, has been canceled — along with all of the caterer’s 90 other April bookings.

Instead, the caterer loaded up its 14-foot truck and headed out to Philadelphia News serve the same nonprofit on a very different mission: to provide as many as 3,600 meals a day at centrally located sites to people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.

The food run was part of Step Up to the Plate, a massive coordinated effort launched this week by the city with nonprofits including Project HOME, Prevention Point, and Broad Street Ministry.

The goal is to safely ensure homeless people have access to two  Press Release Distribution Service In Philadelphia meals a day, at a time when Philadelphia’s hunger crisis is growing — while contagion concerns have made established food-distribution models untenable. It’s also keeping caterers, which are providing the meals at cost, on the job during the shutdown. And, perhaps most important, the meal service is paired with health-care access, including coronavirus testing.

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