PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – From temporary unemployment to layoffs, the coronavirus crisis has hit the hospitality industry especially hard.

The North Texas Food Bank is trying to help those affected. Instead of having volunteers fill their shifts, they’re now opening them up to those who are out of work and paying them for their time.

The food bank has transitioned from packaging and dropping off palettes of food at pantries, where people can pick out what they need to a new low-touch method.

“We’re trying to make sure that all of our employees, our partner agencies and the clients remain safe during this time,” North Texas Food Bank President & CEO Trisha Cunningham said.

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Volunteers will distribute pre-packaged boxes that have enough food to make 21 meals.

Starting next Monday, the people prepping the boxes will be workers from the hospitality industry who are suffering from lost income due to the coronavirus. The food bank is asking them to sign up through Shiftsmart which is an application that connects part-time workers with open shifts. They’ll be paid $10 an hour. This will be in place for at least 60 days.

“It’s a really nice win win!” Cunningham said. “We’re going to have the steady stream of volunteers that we need. We have workers out there that are losing wages that are going to be able to get paid to come and volunteer and we have community members who have donated to this fund at the Communities Foundation to make sure they have access to those funds.”

Right now, there’s an increased demand for the food bank’s services. If you would like to make a donation or sign up for a shift, click here for information.

Erin Jones