During the COVID-19 pandemic, the John Howie Restaurant Group, like many area restaurants, has used restaurant closures and reduced capacity to give back to the local community.

John Howie with meals made by the Beardslee Public House team for World Central Kitchen. Photo courtesy of John Howie Restaurant Group.

Howie and his team partnered with Washington DC-based nonprofit World Central Kitchen to help expand the organization’s presence in the Seattle region. Founded by José Andrés to provide fresh meals to communities in need, WCK has helped the restaurant group deliver more than 4,500 meals to formerly incarcerated individuals and individuals housed by Catholic Community Services.

Howie and his restaurant group didn’t stop there, preparing another 3,100 meals for health care workers and first responders — at EvergreenHealth, Overlake Medical Center and Clinics, Harborview, Seattle Children’s, and the Bothell Fire Department — and other charities like Ronald McDonald House, Congregations for the Homeless, Bothell Senior Center, and more .

“During the early days of COVID, friends and investors contributed toward an effort that funded our ability to make and deliver hundreds of meals for local frontline health care workers,” Howie wrote in an email to 425 Business. “At first, these were small weekly projects, but eventually grew to the dual purpose of nourishing our hospital heroes while also allowing me to bring back many of our employees. Since then, our restaurant group has not only discovered new ways to do business, but also new ways to give back to the community that has always supported us.”