Heroes Among Us: Restaurants turned relief centers

At Mozza Restaurant in Los Angeles, the aroma of vegetarian lasagna and roasted chicken wafted through the air. If you didn't know better you'd swear it was a regular day for one of LA's most storied restaurant franchises. But since Covid-19, the days are anything but normal.

The restaurant business has been rocked as restaurants across the country were ordered to shut down their dining rooms and move to delivery or take out. Waitstaff, cooks, and dishwashers suddenly out of work. Which takes us back to the lasagna and the chicken being prepared here today.

These delicious dishes were not for customers, but for out of work restaurant workers prepared by their colleagues. The grab and go gourmet meals made with love by celebrity chef Nancy Silverton and crew.

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Silverton's effort falls underneath the umbrella of the "Restaurant Workers Relief Program." That effort spearheaded by fellow celebrity chef, Edward Lee. The doors opened at 5:30 in the evening. But by 4:30, a line of out of work restaurant employees could be seen winding around the block. Once to the front of the line, they received two free hot meals and two pantry items like cleaning supplies and peanut butter to take home with them.

Silverton seemed passionate about the effort. She said her employees were like family to her. She expressed concern for all those who were hurting from the measures to control the pandemic. Some of the people were teary-eyed when they picked up their to-go bags, others smiling. All of them deeply appreciative of the generous gift. The restaurant relief centers are funded for two weeks in five cities across the country.

The hope is more money can be raised to extend it further.

Do you know of a person or company that is going above and beyond to help others during this time? We want to hear from you, submit your nomination here.