The Community Takeout Program has a dozen participating restaurants and is collaborating with 412 Food Rescue.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The latest mitigation efforts are set to end on Monday, but restaurant owners aren’t optimistic they will get the go ahead to reopen indoor dining.

Heading into the slowest month for this industry, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership has started a new program that is helping both the restaurants and people in need.

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“The hardest part about being downtown is it’s not really a neighborhood, a lot of people are staying at home, working from home and they are going to places in their neighborhood and not a lot of people are passing through downtown anymore,” said Amy Kluczkowski who’s a managing partner at Harris Grill.

Harris Grill is one of a dozen restaurants that are part of the Community Takeout Program.

“Our organization is collecting dollars. We will be paying on a weekly basis for restaurants to make meals,” said Jeremy Waldrup who’s the President/CEO of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

It’s a collaboration with 412 Food Rescue. Once the meals are made at each restaurant, volunteers deliver them to neighbors in need.

“Food insecurity is projected to increase 61 percent over the next several months as people continue to experience additional hardships and challenges,” Waldrup said.

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With limited dollars to spend, only about a dozen restaurants got into the program. Harris Grill makes about 200 meals every Thursday.

“It helps us be able to go through product, it helps us continue to have employees and it gives us something to be hopeful for,” Kluczkowski said.

But there are even more restaurants wanting to join, that’s where the public’s help is needed.

“For us, it’s imperative to try to get those dollars to give to these restaurants out there making these meals to do the right thing in our community,” Waldrup said.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership did get some startup donations to get the program going, but now they are relying on those community donations.

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If you are interested in donating, check out their website here.