Massachusetts bars and dine-in restaurants have closed due to the spread of the coronavirus, now only permitted to do delivery or take-out service. But former New England Patriot's player and co-owner of Keel Vodka, Matt Light, argues that shouldn't stop anyone from fancying themselves a cocktail or two.
That's why he started the #LiftYourSpirits social media campaign, which encourages people to enjoy a drink at home, all while supporting foodservice industry workers.
“We’re all spending a lot of time in our homes, we’re all cooking, we’re trying to stay safe. And we’re also thinking about the people who aren’t able to be at work," Light told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston Tuesday. "A lot of people in the restaurant industry aren’t able to be at work and need our help."
The challenge, Light said, is simple: mix a drink — with or without alcohol — donate what one would usually tip wait or bar staff on the drink and invite someone else to do the same. So far, the challenge has raised more than $14,000.
“The thing about what we’re all going through right now is that everyone can relate to the fact that there are so many people that need this… And at the end of the day, the National Restaurant Association, their members really need the help,” Light explained.
Looking toward the future, Light said he and many others in the industry that he’s spoken with are worried about surviving the loss of business once the pandemic is eventually over.
“There are so many small, mid-sized restaurant groups and individual owners who — they’ve leveraged their homes. They love to cook. They love to serve. They love the job of being a part of their community,” he said. “So, they’re so giving by nature and it’s going to be very difficult for them to be able to overcome this.”
For information on the challenge or to donate to the cause, visit liftyourspirits.org.