When Oregon's governor ordered closure of all restaurants due to COVID-19, Reality Kitchen temporarily shutdown operations and laid off 23 employees, including 10 Developmentally Disabled Supported Staff. This closed our training program, wholesale bakery production and retail cafe', but an urgent need for emergency food now exists in Lane County, Oregon. With your help we can refit to provide meals to unhoused residents who are sheltered in area facilities, as well as feed our neighbors.
This has been hard on our staff, their families, and our nonprofit organization, but we remain committed to a forward looking response. Reality Kitchen will do all we can to help our elders and those in the River Road Neighborhood and larger community, using our food production facilities to feed those in need in the months ahead. With your help, we can respond with new sanitation and safety plans to assure our bakers a secure production environment to reopen and resume production.
Together, with your support now, we can respond to this crisis safely to help our local homeless and shut-in neighbors. We will partner with other nonprofits that already help those who struggle with food insecurity and local agencies and organizations, as well as local food service businesses to produce bread and meals, to act as a hub of care and hope. Returning our staff to work and resuming our Employment Path Program will inspire, engage and serve the community when it needs it the most.
As we all recover from this global event, an increased use of technology will expand and reframe the Employment Path services we deliver to students with disabilities to include distance learning through remote group classes, video and audio production and more. We will pivot our trainings to meet the changing workplace environment and continue preparing our Supported Staff to successfully transition into employment opportunities across a variety of settings, better prepared for the days ahead.