Cash Grants Provide a Lifeline for Houston’s Restaurant Community

Originally, Shepard started the nonprofit foundation to raise funds for multiple sclerosis research after a friend was diagnosed with the disease; fundraising centered around an annual barbecue event that drew outside talent like David Chang, Ashley Christensen, and Aaron Franklin to Houston. But last year, Shepherd knew that servers, cooks, and bussers would be uniquely vulnerable in the aftermath of Harvey, and decided to donate Southern Smoke’s proceedsdirectly to service industry professionals impacted by the storm.