1 in 5 people in the food and beverage industry struggle with substance abuse and addiction, so in 2016, after a friend who was also a chef took his own life, two restauranteurs in Charleston, SC, started Ben's Friends.
The mission of Ben's Friends is to offer hope, fellowship, and a path forward for food and beverage professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. It initially started with a few chapters, but once the pandemic hit, drastically affecting the food industry, the support needed for food and beverage professionals increased as the risk of relapse grew. They turned to virtual meetings and grew suddenly.
As a part of Ben's Friends, Matt Walsh and Todd Hunt, two local restauranteurs, meet every Monday at a Virginia restaurant to help others in the food industry struggling with substance abuse. Director of Marketing at Easterns Automotive Group, Joel Bassam, joined in surprising them with $2,000 so they can continue to change people's lives.Road
To learn more about Easterns Automotive Group's partnership with WUSA 9 and how they come together to empower the DMV community, please visit www.wusa9.com/BetterCommunity