Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 8

Restaurants Feeding Hospitals and First Responders

Graphic by Zakai Avidor

With the coronavirus cancelling or delaying nearly everything, and the shelter-in-place being extended, many may think the outlook dreary; but to others, it may be less so, as restaurants in Walnut Creek have been taking community support to feed local hospitals and first responders. 

Restaurant owners started doing this act of charity both to support workers combating the virus and to keep their workers employed. The coronavirus has been a major detriment to businesses, especially smaller, local ones. Many restaurants have had to fire a large portion of their employees simply because there’s no work for them without dine-in services. Bussers no longer have to clear tables, and dishwashers only have to clean cooking implements now. By taking community support to feed hospitals and first responders, businesses are creating work so their employees keep their job. 

One such business that is feeding hospitals is Sunrise Bistro. Owned by Joe Stein, an LL grad, Sunrise Bistro uses a GoFundMe page to support making and delivering meals to hospitals and first responders. Its goal is to reach $100,000 worth of donations, a goal which has not yet been reached. Sunrise Bistro has been delivering to hospitals not only in Walnut Creek but across the county. “In this time of urgent need, we are asking for our community’s support. Without a significant influx of orders by the end of this week, we will be forced to begin laying off a majority of our team and closing our doors,” said Stein. “Funds will be used by Sunrise Bistro & Catering to procure, cook, package and deliver fresh, healthy meals (see meal examples below) to local hospitals, clinics, testing facilities, etc. to feed the many first responders working extended hours treating and healing our neighbors, friends, and family that have been impacted by COVID-19.” 

Another Walnut Creek business feeding hospitals is Rocco’s Ristorante Pizzeria. Instead of fundraising like Sunrise Bistro, Rocco’s is letting people volunteer to deliver pizzas to hospitals. Using a SignUpGenius, people could sign up to deliver pizzas at a specific time to a specific hospital. Very quickly, volunteers filled all of the slots for the month of April. 

Since hopes lately have been low, restaurants performing these acts of charity have been uplifting for many. Restaurants organizing these altruistic acts, in addition to their quick support, may offer some light during this time and show that people are capable of doing good during times of crisis.