RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Comfort restaurant in Richmond is giving the comfort of a full stomach to those who too often feel the pangs of hungry.
In March, Comfort started donating all of its profits to FeedMore. Since then, the restaurant has raised thousands of dollars to help end hunger, and it's tables are only more crowded.
"The thing we notice mostly is the tenor of the restaurant is very different," co-owner Jason Alley said. "People feel really good when they're in here."
The sounds of a hot meal on the stove is something Alley often grew up without. It's that connection to hunger that led he and business partner Michelle Jones to serve not just soul-filling Southern cuisine but also a safety net to those who are just one paycheck away from not being to buy their own food.
"Lots of meals of just white rice," Alley said of his childhood in rural Virginia. "We got a lot of food from church food closets and food banks. I know what it feels like to be hungry. It's such a wide swath of people who can really use the assistance. And with that assistance, so much becomes easier."
FeedMore serves more than 200,000 clients, from children to seniors, in every neighborhood. The hurdles for those people are not just affording food but accessing it. Transportation to grocery stores, food deserts and the stigmas associated with being in need can all prevent someone from getting food.
"That's another level of stress for these kids, because they're seeing their parents super stressed out," Alley said. "They're seeing their parents feel like they're not able to provide, and that just continues to compound on itself. It's a really brutal thing, and it's entirely solvable."
FeedMore is the backbone of programs like Meals on Wheels, food-stuffed backpacks, summer meals programs for kids, food pantries and more.
For every dollar donated, FeedMore says 96 cents goes directly into its programs to help feed those in need.
Comfort is open Monday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m.
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