Staff Meal Moves to Irving Convention Center

Staff Meal moves to Irving Convention Center

Staff Meal, a nonprofit that provides meals to hospitality industry members in-need, moves to Irving Convention Center May 2. Irving Convention Center donated the space, providing a larger, state-of-the-art kitchen and workspace for the volunteer culinary team. They provide chef-made meals every weekend for curbside pick-up for unemployed North Texas industry workers.

“Staff Meal is providing a service that my entire team can support and embrace,” says Tom Meehan, general manager of Irving Convention Center. “We are pleased to be able to give back to the community during this time of need.”

Cheryl Weiss, Alison Matis and Emily Mantooth of Fest Events Foundation realized the needs of unemployed restaurant and hospitality workers due to COVID-19. With Chef Nick Walker of Virgin Hotels Dallas and Steve DeShazo, they launched Staff Meal April 11. The program provides 300 free to-go food packages. Packages include four servings of breakfast and four servings of lunch/dinner, to industry workers.

Reservations Required for Meals

Reservations for the meals are through The packages are available to pick up every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Irving Convention Center. Their address is 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Irving.

DeShazo said, “There are 677,000 unemployed service industry workers across the state of Texas. Due to the overwhelming response that we received from North Texans over the last three weeks for the meal distribution, we knew we needed a much larger kitchen. We will see Staff Meal continue to grow and expand outreach, especially now that we are more accessible to sectors that are heavily populated with displaced industry workers but offer fewer free meal plans.”

Other associations and businesses donating funding, product, and in-kind services include: 3015 at Trinity Groves, Artscape Creative, Cava Group Inc., Chef’s Produce Company, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Dairy Max, Fresh Point, Friedman Marketing and Public Relations, Gordon Food Service, Greater Dallas Restaurant Association, Irving Convention Center, La Madeleine, M&M Concessions, Maple Leaf Farms, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Profound Foods, Tailwater Capital, Texas Beef Council, Verlasso Salmon, Vipin Nambiar, and Wackym’s Kitchen.

FestEvents Foundation, created by Alison Matis and Cheryl Weis, is a registered 501c3. It supports workforce development in the restaurant and hospitality industry. For more information visit