HUNTERSVILLE, NC — As life for many has ground to a halt amid the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak, a campaign is underway to feed first responders in Lake Norman while also putting struggling area restaurants back to work.
Restaurant and service industry workers were among the first in North Carolina to feel the direct financial impact of policies put in place to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which as of April 10, had led to at least 74 deaths and more than 400 hospitalizations in the state. Last month, in a move meant to enforce social distancing recommendations, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper closed down sit-in dining service throughout the state by executive order that went into effect March 17. By March 26, all of Mecklenburg County was under a stay-at-home order followed by a statewide order that went into effect March 30.
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“This is a time we can all come together and show our love and support for the community we love so much,” said Huntersville resident Jennifer Gatto, organizer of the #LKNSTRONG Feed Our Heroes, according to the GoFundMe campaign site.
“The concept is simple, deliver food to our local workers on the frontline and by doing that provide business to our local restaurants,” she said. “We hope to deliver as many meals as possible and by doing this we need as much support from the community as we can get.
The campaign, which began April 1, has already started making an impact. As of April 10, the campaign had raised more than $2,400 and provided breakfast and lunch for Lake Norman emergency medical services at an April 9 event at Bagel Bin in Huntersville, as well as donuts from Down with Donuts to police in Cornelius and Davidson and four local fire departments.
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On April 10, the campaign delivered lunch from Lancasters BBQ to 40 staff at Carolinas Medical Center – Northeast, and said there were plans to provide lunch in the coming days at an area respiratory center conducting coronavirus screening.
“During these times, it only takes one person to make a difference,” Maolo’s Pizzeria & Restaurant in Cornelius said on their Facebook page. “Thanks to Jennifer Gatto for making this happen.
Information about how to donate to the Feed Our Heroes campaign can be found here.
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This article originally appeared on the Huntersville Patch