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Lackawanna College Kiesendahl School of Hospitality students, from left, Emily Natale, Kevin Watson and Mariah Winburn prepare an antipasti dish in the kitchen at the sold-out Rally for Restaurants at Lackawanna’s 409 on Adams building on Sept. 29.

With restaurants feeling the impact of COVID-19, Lackawanna College teamed up with Scranton Tomorrow and the City of Scranton to raise money to help local restaurant owners and workers make ends meet.

The effort raised over $30,000, which went directly to participating restaurants, and over $7,000 for the Lackawanna College School of Hospitality scholarship fund.

Lackawanna College’s student-run restaurant, 409 on Adams, pivoted in a multi-faceted effort to help support the restaurant industry while also giving students valuable culinary experience with some of the area’s leading chefs.

“Rally for Restaurants exemplified what our region is known for-neighbors helping neighbors, said Stephanie Decker, Associate Vice President of Social and Economic Impact. “We were honored to serve alongside the City of Scranton and Scranton Tomorrow to bring much-needed dollars to local restaurants.

“Lackawanna College and our students are so excited to continue this program as we prepare the newest restaurant workforce to emerge equipped to sustain and fortify the local restaurant economy and arts and culture of our region,” she said.

Lackawanna’s School of Hospitality students worked alongside expert chefs from eight local restaurants, serving a total of 684 meals since the initiative launched in February 2020. A combination of generous sponsorships and in-kind donations helped offset the operating costs for the events, along with funds raised from private donations and t-shirt sales.

“I want to thank Lackawanna College and all of the students, and anyone involved at the College who has generously donated their time and energy to put these events on. There are few places like Scranton where you see a community rally around each other in times of need. It has been the bright spot in an otherwise dark year,” said Patrick Nasser, co-owner of Backyard Alehouse.

Lackawanna College will launch a second Rally for Restaurants initiative beginning next month.

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