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Closing the Healthcare Gap: Austin Food for Life, Pay it Forward, and More

Adequate health care is hard to come by for food professionals. A slew of recent fundraisers, the most recent being the In Queso Emergency benefit concert for Austin Slow Burn co-founder Jill Lewis, is a testament both to the love and comraderie of the local food community as well as the unjust lack of protection for the folks who make our city's incredible food culture hum. Now, food professionals are organizing to support foundations which will help more folks in need.

Culture Map has a write-up of the new organization Austin Food for Life, which has worked to help culinary professionals financially weather unexpected health crises. Their mission reaches beyond the emergency fundraisers, however. Co-founder Brian Stubbs states that, "we want to try to create a way for people to make a sustainable living in this industry." The new national heath care laws taking effect in 2014 will require more responsibility from employers but as Culture Map notes, "a great amount of responsibility will fall on the individual as well." Austin Food for Life aims to help all restaurant employees, front and back of the house, navigate these changes.

A slew of superstar Austin chefs are getting together to organize a fundraiser for another organization which recently helped out a food professional in need. Austin Pay it Forward with Daniel Curtis will raise money for the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation, which is helping Mr. Curtis in the aftermath of a spinal injury. Tickets for their August 8th event, which will feature food from chefs such as Bryce Gilmore, David Bull, and Laura Sawicki, can be purchased here.
— Meghan McCarron
· In Queso Emergency Concert Tribute to Jill Lewis [The Austin Chronicle]
· HAAM for chefs: Austin Food for Life fosters healthy local restaurant industry [CultureMap]
· Pay it Forward with Daniel Curtis [Official Site]