Neighborhood Eats: NYC restaurant on a social mission, donates 100% of its profits

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A restaurant in the theater district serves up generous proceeds to frontline workers and hires employees who were either homeless or formerly imprisoned.

P.S. Kitchen, located on West 48th Street, has always thought globally -- not just when it came to the menu but also how it can make a social impact.

"We wanted to donate 100% of our profits to various charities that I'm really passionate about," restaurant founder April Tam Smith said.

In just three years, profits from P.S. Kitchen have gone to build schools in Africa, help high school students in Haiti, and support survivors of sex trafficking.

The founders also keep their focus trained on their 67 employees, many formerly homeless or imprisoned.

"A lot of people say to me, whatever their challenging background is, I just want a job and provide for my family," Smith said.

The pandemic initially forced the founders to furlough the staff, but those who couldn't get unemployment assistance have been brought back.

A limited menu is currently available featuring plant-based burgers, wraps, sandwiches. The restaurant hopes to serve the full menu soon.

And through donations, $120,000 worth of meals have been provided for front line workers.

"I was grateful a lot of our customers are not just our customers, they're our supporters, our fan base, our family," Smith said. "So we had overwhelming support when we first reached out."

And for several more weeks, P.S. Kitchen will be providing 200 meals a day to feed the homeless.

"When we hear shelter in place, just thinking about those people who don't have a home to shelter in place," Smith said. "For all of us, we can't afford to be neutral right now. I really believe there is no action too small."

These difficult times reinforce the restaurant's mission. P.S. Kitchen is offering delivery and pick up Monday through Friday.

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