The Northwest Arkansas Council and Pure Charity today announced a partnership with Get Shift Done to launch Get Shift Done for Northwest Arkansas. The initiative employs displaced hourly workers within the hospitality industry to work shifts for nonprofits in the region focused on hunger relief, including The Pack Shack, Fayetteville Roots, Seeds That Feed and The Salvation Army Northwest Arkansas Area Command.
“Countless hospitality industry workers have found themselves jobless, furloughed or facing drastically reduced work hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the status of unemployment benefits that are expiring is uncertain,” said Jeannette Balleza Collins, entrepreneurial development director of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “Even while volunteers are returning slowly to nonprofits, food insecurity continues to grow. This program connects displaced workers who are highly skilled and efficient in food service to critical work that feeds neighbors in need.”
Workers receive $15 an hour for efforts feeding food-insecure community members in Northwest Arkansas. Shiftsmart technology allows the initiative to register workers for nonprofit shifts and to manage the onboarding, matching, scheduling, dispatching and routing of workers to perform shifts.
Get Shift Done launched in North Texas in March 2020. With jobless claims spiking to record levels, the Get Shift Done concept was crafted to help people work to earn a basic income. Within days of the initial launch, other cities, municipalities and countries contacted the organization to replicate the model.
“I was inspired by the Get Shift Done initiative when it launched in North Texas,” said Bret Raymond, co-founder and CEO of The Pack Shack. “I thought helping restaurant workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis get paid for hours worked at local hunger relief nonprofits was a tremendous match, especially since nonprofits were seeing a dramatic drop in volunteer hours. I believe that giving people meaningful work to do reinforces their worth and dignity as humans, and I was—and remain—very excited about Get Shift Done and am hopeful for its potential.”
Get Shift Done is now available in 11 cities and has packed, served or delivered more than 30 million meals and provided 250,000 hours to nearly 100 nonprofits.
Patrick Brandt, co-founder of Get Shift Done and president of Shiftsmart, said, “we are proud to be able to expand our reach in the state of Arkansas and provide hunger relief to the rapidly expanding Northwest Arkansas region.”
“The need for volunteers and the need for food and resources are spiking simultaneously during the crisis,” said Anurag Jain, chairman of Access Healthcare, managing partner of Perot Jain and chairman of the board of the North Texas Food Bank. “There is also a skyrocketing number of displaced workers in the restaurant and hospitality industry who want to work. When you apply this innovative solution, our goal is met to help both the workers and the nonprofits.”
The Get Shift Done for Northwest Arkansas program is supported by the Walmart Foundation, Walton Family Foundation and Willard & Pat Walker Charitable Foundation.
For more information or to support the Northwest Arkansas fund, visit getshiftdone.org/northwestarkansas