LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The partners behind two popular Louisville establishments have created a new initiative to help their fellow restaurant families. Gov. Andy Beshear’s order to close in-person dining at restaurants and bars to curb the spread of COVID-19 is hitting many service industry workers hard, and this new program will help provide free meals to those who are out of work.

RELATED: Beshear orders all restaurants, bars close to in-person dining

The Louisville Family Meal initiative was started by the partners behind NuLu staples RYE on Market and Galaxie Bar. The program provides free meals to service industry workers like waiters, bartenders, busboys and dishwashers who have lost their pay during the coronavirus pandemic.

Every Tuesday through Saturday, the group is offering 80 meals, 40 protein and 40 vegetarian, through the program. Workers can sign up for the meal program here and meals must be signed up for in advance. The group has been feeding restaurant workers since Wednesday and said they are "overwhelmed" by the support they've received.

The group has created a GoFundMe page that will help fund and expand the program, with every dollar raised going toward the cost of meals and labor. The group plans to run the program for at least 8 weeks.

“These times are filled with a lot of uncertainty, and one place where we often turn to find comfort is the dinner table with friends,” said Thor Morgan, RYE and Galaxie partner. “While we cannot share the hospitality of our own table, we can share some of our food to those who are affected most. We hope to help our community in some small way during this crisis.”

According to the National Restaurant Association, there are 200,000 restaurant and food service jobs in Kentucky. If you are out of work, here is a list of companies that are hiring, as well as resources on how to apply for unemployment.

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