Snapchef partnered with MassHire for the COVID-19 DWG program to help laid-off food service workers find jobs during the pandemic.

This past year has been extremely difficult for many, but the foodservice industry has experienced a devastating loss of income and high levels of unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, increased food insecurity has created a demand for those trained in culinary arts among other skills, and applying them to food relief efforts.

According to a recent press release from Andrew Augustus, Director of Marketing at Snapchef, “Food preparation and distribution efforts in Massachusetts have been critical during this time. Front line and emergency food service organizations have been looking for ServSafe certified cooks who can prepare meals, licensed drivers who can help with emergency food distribution needs, and general-purpose laborers who can fill food boxes, handle deliveries, and manage inventory.”

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In response to the ongoing crisis, Snapchef partnered with the MassHire Department of Career Services in the COVID-19 Disaster Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants (DWG) program to address food insecurity and unemployment in the Commonwealth.

Through grant funding, MassHire Career Centers and Snapchef recruited laid-off food service workers for deployment at 57 selected worksites across Massachusetts. Snapchef successfully served as the designated employer of record for the DWG program, providing temporary employment to 180 laid-off food service workers, supplying worksites with more than 7,000 shifts.

Under the grant program, organizations in need of temporary food service-related workers applied to be chosen as a worksite. 57 total applications were submitted, and all were accepted to receive funded workers under this grant. Each organization then prepared to receive temporary employees to assist in its disaster recovery and food relief efforts.

Diane Hurley is the Deputy Director for Program Management and Oversight at the MassHire Department of Career Services. To her, there is no question of how this grant impacted the quality of life for those who participated in the program.

“Snapchef was an exemplary partner with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to help meet the culinary employment and food insecurity needs of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts during the Corona Virus Pandemic,” Hurley said.

The MassHire system and Snapchef provided DWG program recruitment support for potential grant participants to fill back-of-the-house and front-of-the-house positions. Each eligible individual for the program was vetted by Snapchef with background/CORI checks, employee orientation, skill assessment, and onboarding, then successfully matched to the best position at an approved worksite. Upon placement, applicants received their schedule, uniform, and PPE according to worksite arrangements.

Todd Snopkowski is the CEO and founder of Snapchef. He was honored to have the chance to provide this service during these difficult times.

“Snapchef is grateful for the opportunity to partner with MassHire in the COVID-19 Disaster Response Dislocated Worker Grant program,” Snopkowski said. “With record unemployment levels among culinary workers, Snapchef is proud of the collaboration to provide laid-off workers with the means to return to the workforce, while also providing crucial help to foodservice organizations struggling to provide meals to residents in communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition to handling position placements for worksites, Snapchef managed payroll, benefits, and workers’ compensation for each DWG program participant temporarily placed at a worksite. Snapchef worked with MassHire and its partners to manage the accountability documentation on the payroll for the purposes of the grant. Snapchef also offered support services, such as career and training workshops, to each temporary worker participating in the grant program.

Through the establishment of the DWG program, Snapchef and MassHire not only created temporary reemployment opportunities for displaced food service workers but also supported organizations and their food preparation and distribution efforts by replacing lost volunteer and staff capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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