February 1, 2021 – The Eagle Tribune

On a typical day before the pandemic, Chris Austin had plenty on his to-do list as the director of food enterprise for the Lowell-based UTEC organization.

The anti-violence group was operating several food-related programs including a cafe, event space and bustling catering business.

Once March 2020 arrived, however, everything changed.

“COVID hit and the bottom fell out — we had to shut everything down,” said Austin, a veteran food service worker with a resume that includes time at Whole Foods Market and Sweetgreen.

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