What’s next for mutual aid pop-ups started during the pandemic?

A year and a half ago, the pandemic brought dining out to an immediate halt, and soon after, layoffs and furloughs for millions of workers. Chefs and bakers with sudden free time on their hands threw themselves into new mutual aid pop-ups, baking challah and smoking beef ribs, with proceeds from sales and donations going to organizations addressing food insecurity and LGBTQ+ issues, among others. But as the country continues to inch along in its reopening, people are beginning to wonder what’s next for their pandemic-born ventures, Eater’s Jaya Saxena reports. For some, donated proceeds might have to be slimmed down to cover ingredients’ costs more sustainably and pay forme rvolunteers a wage. Others are looking to make their intermittent businesses permanent via the brick-and-mortar route. But with former employers calling and customers returning to work, some wonder if their projects’ days are numbered. “The challenges these pop-up creators face highlight how our society was not built for mutual aid,” Saxena writes.  

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