2 restaurants help their communities during crisis

While the news about coronavirus can be scary and overwhelming, there’s also plenty of stories of people doing good during this crisis.

News 12 Staff

Apr 7, 2020, 8:49 PM

Updated 1,506 days ago


While the news about coronavirus can be scary and overwhelming, there’s also plenty of stories of people doing good during this crisis.

One example is Carroll's Kitchen on Long Island.
Carroll's Kitchen is a nonprofit that Ryan Carroll started just a couple of weeks ago after losing his job as a chef in New York City.
He came home to Long Island, and realized he wanted to get to work taking care of others on the Island who needed it.
"If I'm going to leave my house, I'm going to cook food for people on Long Island in a safe manner," Carroll said. 
He’s since brought on more than 40 other people who were out of work to help with the operation. Those people are involved with tasks from cooking to coordinating the charity work, to social media.
The group sells takeout food through partnerships with various Long Island restaurants, and also relies heavily on community donations.
This allows them to safely prepare and deliver free meals to shelters, hospitals, and more.
"We didn’t just put our feet in the water," director of charity operations James Destasio said. "We jumped fully in, and said we want to help as many people as we can."
To donate to Carroll's Kitchen, click here
Other restaurants are also using their platform and resources to give back.

Popular restaurant Olmsted in Brooklyn has completely transformed its operation into a food bank.
"Now is the time to use our voice to help others," owner Greg Baxtrom said. "I have the ability to help others, and shame on you if you do and you're not doing that."
The idea is executed through partnerships with the Lee Initiative and Makers Mark.
The food bank is geared toward helping other members of the restaurant industry who may have been laid off or lost any income.
The owners say anyone who needs help is more than welcome.
"I want this to be a regular thing that anyone can access," Baxtrom said. 
The team at Olmsted has had to deal with their own problems.
They shut down on March 15, and had to lay off nearly all their employees.
"It felt like the sky was falling, essentially," co-owner Max Katzenberg said. "The restaurant staff is so familial, so to have to lay off our entire staff was heartbreaking."
It was important for the owners to find a way to help others however possible.
They’re helping more than 200 people a day with prepared food, pantry staples, and toiletries.
The food bank is currently open every day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and is following all the necessary health and safety guidelines.
To donate to the Restaurant Workers Relief Fund that supports the Olmsted food bank, click here

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