Even with most local businesses closed or operating on limited hours, there's still an opportunity to support the local service industry.

Community members looking to give back need look no further than The Homies, a new relief fund designed for Columbia food service employees.

Peachtree Catering owner and The Homies contact Benjamin Hamrah said that so far the response has been "great" and the support has been "incredible."

The Homies, which was set up in March, was born as a result of the ongoing lapse in the service industry in both Columbia and the rest of the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its main goal is to provide some relief to local workers affected by the slow in activity.

"There's a niche that needs to be filled since businesses have had to shorten their hours or lay off staff," said Hamrah, who also runs Beet Box with Amanda Elliott.

Hamrah urges any service employees seeking help from the fund to reach out to their managers or employers, if they are comfortable with doing so, about contacting The Homies. The process, Hamrah emphasized, can be as anonymous as the employee wants.

Anyone looking to donate to the fund can visit The Homies' official page.

"We will get through this, and Columbia will once again be the place we all know and love, but not if we don't come together and unite as a community to save the things and people we love the most," The Homies' page states.

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • Business reporter, spring 2020 Studying magazine journalism Reach me at viviankolks@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

  • Galen Bacharier is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. He has reported on higher education, state government and breaking news. Reach him at galenbacharier@gmail.com or on Twitter @galenbacharier.

  • As senior editor of the Missourian, Fred Anklam manages general assignment reporters. He can be reached at anklamf@missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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