A burger from The Vandal. Photo by Brittany Spinelli.

Your next takeout order can help local restaurants, restaurant workers, farmers and producers impacted by the Covid crisis.

Allegheny Eats, a meal kit service for at-home dining, launched last month and includes free grub for restaurant workers. Organizers recently added e-gift cards to the menu. Purchasers can select amounts ranging from $15 to $200 and send the gift card digitally to the recipient through the Allegheny Eats online platform.

The food is prepared by four area businesses: Bae Bae’s Kitchen, black radish kitchen, Casa Brasil and The Vandal. The meals, which will change seasonally, are offered exclusively through Allegheny Eats. Each meal feeds two and can be ordered online.

“Now consumers have a way to directly thank our industry workers and relieve some of the burden that this crisis has unduly laid on their shoulders — all while giving a boost to our restaurants and helping to secure the food chain for our local farmers,” says Joylette Portlock, executive director of Sustainable Pittsburgh, the nonprofit organization spearheading the project.

Image courtesy of Allegheny Eats.

A minimum of 30 percent of Allegheny Eats ingredients are sourced from local farmers and producers such as Bitter Ends Garden, Churchview Farm, Jubilee Hilltop Ranch, MADE by Scratch & Co. and Tiny Seed Farm.

Prices vary depending on the restaurant or meal. All purchased meal kits will be available for pickup, except those ordered through black radish kitchen, which is offering delivery only. Meal kits must be purchased by Tuesday each week for pickup (or in the case of black radish kitchen, delivery) on Thursday of that same week.

A portion of the sales will go back into the program to fund free meals for restaurant industry staff.

Workers, who do not need to provide proof of employment, can order their complimentary grub Thursday, with pickup or delivery on the following Wednesday. Volunteers interested in becoming a delivery driver can send an email to Allegheny Eats’ delivery partner, 412 Food Rescue.

Allegheny Eats is funded through an Economic Impact and Recovery Funding grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Partners include CRAFT at Chatham University, the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, black radish kitchen, Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid, 412 Food Rescue, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the City of Pittsburgh and other local food system organizations.

Organizers hope to expand the program to include more restaurants and farms. Program sponsorship is also available. To learn more, email Allegheny Eats.

Tortellini from black radish kitchen. Photo courtesy of Allegheny Eats.

“At the end of the day, this is about feeding people,” says black radish kitchen chef/owner Kate Romane. “Food businesses do not survive without the continued support and interconnectedness of the entire community. This program helps keep our chefs making food for you and for our workers who have found themselves unemployed due to the pandemic. This industry has no safety net for our hourly and tipped coworkers. This program will help to continue to raise awareness and feed our patrons and our community.”

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.