WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (March 31, 2020) – The West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board unanimously approved a $20,000 donation to help the newly-formed nonprofit, Hospitality Helping Hands (H3), launch its second location at Hullabaloo at 517 Clematis St. H3 was founded by restaurant group owner Rodney Mayo and his partners in Subculture Group to feed any hospitality workers and their families – extending it to just about anyone in need during the coronavirus pandemic. In response to a devastating March 20 that he called “the worst day of my life,” when Mayo had to lay off 650 employees as his restaurants all shut down, he made a quick pivot to offer hot meals to laid-off workers in need from his Howley’s Restaurant at 4700 S. Dixie just three days later. Over the past nine days, Hospitality Helping Hands served over 16,000 free meals at Howley’s and created around 40 jobs for hospitality professionals.
Now, Hullabaloo extends the program’s charitable reach by opening another location for free hot meals in Downtown West Palm Beach.
“Rodney has been a leader in our downtown business community for more than three decades,” said Raphael Clemente, Executive Director of the DDA. “He has always stepped up to help people in need. Rodney made a fast pivot and created an essential service, full of compassion and hope for those who are struggling to put food on the table right now. We stand in unity with him to support a collective mission to take care of our downtown community. The community’s response to this program shows very clearly just how much need there is right now. H3 is a great model and proves what we can accomplish when we work collaboratively. We will get through these times, mustering all the help we can for our small businesses and with home-grown compassion like the team of people behind H3’s helping hands.”
The $20,000 donation will provide 2,500 meals to be served from the Hullabaloo location and help employ a staff of hospitality professionals who now find themselves temporarily out of work. The funds were reallocated from DDA programs that have been suspended due to coronavirus concerns, such as trolley services.
The Subculture Restaurant and Nightclub Group consists of 16 restaurants and bars throughout Palm Beach County, almost half of which are located in Downtown West Palm Beach, and include Respectable Street, Lost Weekend, Camelot and Subculture Coffee.
For his part, Mayo says he believes the need for meals will continue to grow in the coming weeks and is encouraging those who can to continue to donate to the cause. For more information, or to donate, please visit hospitalityhelpinghands.org.
About the Downtown Development Authority
The West Palm Beach DDA is an independent taxing district created in 1967 by a special act of the Florida Legislature. Its mission is to promote and enhance a safe, vibrant Downtown for our residents, businesses and visitors through the strategic development of economic, social and cultural opportunities.
For more information about the DDA or Downtown West Palm Beach, please visit downtownwpb.com or call the DDA at (561) 833-8873.