Birmingham chef, friends feed service workers in Pensacola during Sally recovery

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Friday, all it took was some friends and a pot of chili to make people’s day.

Chef Lindsey Noto, a Birmingham resident, and her friends traveled to Pensacola Friday to give out a free lunch to those hit hard by service-industry shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic and now the aftermath of Hurricane Sally.

“We wanted to aid in the Hurricane Sally relief any way we knew how,” Noto said. “So my girlfriends gave me a call and said, ‘What can we do?’”

Friday, they handed out chili and potato salad to those who wanted it.

“I felt like we were finally about to get back to normalcy, and then the hurricane hit down here,” Noto said. “The hospitality industry just took another hit. We thought this would be a really cool way to say thank you.”

Noto arrived in Pensacola around 11 a.m. and got to work cooking up a delicious-smelling pot of chili. She said it’s the least she could do for workers affected by an up-and-down year.

“This year has been difficult for everybody. I don’t care who you are or what you do,” she said. “I feel like 2020 has really just showed us that we really need to be there for each other. I hope this will inspire people to really just take care of their neighbors.”

Noto gained some popularity in the Birmingham area after appearing in May on Guy Fieri’s Grocery Games on The Food Network.

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