Depression grips everyone differently. To Trista Kempa, it means lying in bed and wishing she never woke up.

"It’s not that I wish I was dead," the 30-year-old New Yorker clarifies. "I just feel like I’m missing any feeling at all."

When Kempa was a college student living in Michigan, a doctor told her she she may have seasonal affective disorder — a form of depression, fittingly dubbed "SAD," that typically strikes when the days grow shorter in fall and winter. For patients, a persistent decrease in sunlight exposure may cause mood swings, energy loss, increased anxiety, and more.

It's the winter blues on steroids.



GIF by Emma Darvick.

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Courtesy of Chef El-Amin
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When non-essential businesses in NYC were ordered to close in March, restaurants across the five boroughs were tasked to pivot fast or risk shuttering their doors for good.

The impact on the city's once vibrant restaurant scene was immediate and devastating. A national survey found that 250,000 people were laid off within 22 days and almost $2 billion in revenue was lost. And soon, numerous restaurant closures became permanent as the pandemic raged on and businesses were unable to keep up with rent and utility payments.

Hot Bread Kitchen, a New York City-based nonprofit and incubator that has assisted more than 275 local businesses in the food industry, knew they needed to support their affiliated restaurants in a new light to navigate the financial complexities of shifting business models and applying for loans.

According to Hot Bread Kitchen's CEO Shaolee Sen, shortly after the shutdown began, a third of restaurant workers that they support had been laid off and another third were furloughed.

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