Churchill Downs Partners with LEE Initiative for JCPS Family Meal Program

Nov 20, 2020

Churchill Downs Partners with LEE Initiative for JCPS Family Meal Program

Louisville, KY (November 20, 2020) – The LEE Initiative in partnership with Churchill Downs announced last week its newest relief effort in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the hardships it has caused for families: a meal program. Family Meal is a collaborative effort between The LEE Initiative, Churchill Downs, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS), Louisville Metro, Audi and Humana, and will feed families who have children enrolled in JCPS.

“Reports are indicating that roughly 8 million Americans are slipping into poverty due to this crisis. We hope the entire city will join us in proving that Louisville can be a truly compassionate city and that we can create innovative solutions to the hunger issues that have become so rampant,” says Chef Edward Lee, co-founder and director of programming for The LEE Initiative. “This program is more than just feeding families; it is helping families avoid facing poverty.”

The LEE Initiative will hire 50 cooks who have been out of work due to the pandemic. These cooks will use the Churchill Downs Racetrack kitchen to prepare 8,000 boxed meals a week, with each box feeding a family of four. “We love working with The LEE Initiative to take the stigma out of getting a free meal and making sure families have a high-quality chef-prepared meal,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack Executive Chef David Danielson.

“We are very pleased with the success of the program so far,” Danielson added. “It has reignited our team, and we work to show the virtue of leadership with hospitality. While there is still much hard work to do and many problems to solve, nothing is possible without a seat at the table for all. Feeding people is in our hearts, and during this difficult time, it is uplifting to know we can help those in our community who are in need.”

All meals will come frozen with instructions to reheat in the oven or microwave. JCPS will handle distribution and make meals available on Tuesdays and Thursdays at their meal site pick locations. Further pickup details will be available through JCPS.

For more information on the relief efforts, please visit

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