Within a week of the stay-at-home order and the dine-in service prohibition, CARP Growers member farms had devised a plan to help a handful of their favorite local eateries “keep the lights on.” Participating farms started a regular lunch order for hundreds of workers on their cannabis facilities.
Twice a week, a dozen CARP Growers farms offer a free catered lunch to their workers from The Food Liaison, PeeBee & Jays, Rincon Brewery or Delgado’s.
“The program, called “Keep the Lights On” (KTLO) is to support restaurants and was motivated mainly by hearing stories of the immense struggles restaurants faced,” said Peter Dugre, executive director of the nonprofit organization CARP Growers. “The plug was pulled on businesses overnight, and it was heartbreaking and distressing.”
In an interview with filmmaker Larry Nimmer for the city of Carpinteria, Jessica Clark, owner of PeeBee & Jays, said that KTLO had saved her business. Jason Steffenauer, general manager of Rincon Brewery, agreed that the impact of having a regular order has been monumental. “It’s been great having that guaranteed business before we even open for the day,” said Steffenauer. “It’s a good starting point to get the day off and running and put some money in the bank.”
Immediately following the shutdown order, Rincon Brewery had to lay off most of their employees. Overnight the Carpinteria brewhouse went from 50 regular staff to just two. With the help of KTLO, they were able to bring back 10 employees. “It’s been helpful to allow us to keep moving and get some of our people back working,” said Steffenauer.