PALO ALTO, Calif. — Andres Pantoja, an up-and-coming Silicon Valley sous chef, spent his pre-pandemic evenings delicately preparing the $115 plate of lamb chops and deboning the $42 Psari Plaki whole fish at a fashionable restaurant here. It is frantic work serving 200 upscale meals a night.
His new gig is proving way more chaotic, though — making thousands of free meals that seem priceless to those being served: the gardeners, janitors, construction workers, housekeepers and others who have seen their meager income dwindle further as the coronavirus ravages the economy. Mr. Pantoja has become part of a large-scale effort to help feed the poorest families in a region with one of the nation’s widest income gaps.
Call it tech-to-table, a Silicon Valley effort to feed the hungry engineered by a local Boys and Girls Clubs chapter. The organization’s chief executive, Peter Fortenbaugh, a Harvard M.B.A., employed his background working