ATLANTA — An Atlanta restaurant owner is finding new ways to keep his restaurant open by feeding health care workers and first responders.
Channel 2’s Matt Johnson spoke with Jigar Patel who owns Skyline Restaurant Group. Patel said he’s been able to raise thousands of dollars in donations so far -- and he says it’s for a cause that’s growing.
Patel runs several restaurants inside of Atlanta office buildings and he says he's branching out in the best way.
“We take these meals to the heroes who are the front lines,” Patel said.
Patel said he was one of hundreds of Atlanta restaurant owners suddenly unable to open during the pandemic.
“Definitely within the first few weeks, we were trying to find a solution,” Patel said.
- Starting immediately, anyone with coronavirus symptoms in Georgia can get tested
- Grocery store workers call for first responder designation
- Stimulus checks: Payments are being deposited today; what to do if you don’t see yours
The solution was to keep his 15 employees on staff by making food for a new group of customers -- health care workers and first responders.
“Our staff can work a little bit and keep some food on their table as well as make meals to provide to front-line workers,” Patel said.
It started with a delivery on a Friday to every firefighter who was on duty on that day.
“We delivered 350 meals and they were very surprised and we took that workload off of them,” Patel said.
Best of all, he told Johnson that the meals and the pay for his employees is being paid for through online crowdfunding.
He’s raised more than $10,000 on GoFundMe with donations from the community for the community’s heroes.
“We’re donating every dollar to the staff that’s making the meals and the meals going to the front-line workers,” Patel said.
It’s called Edibles for the Incredibles and Patel said it’s been incredibly rewarding to find a new purpose during a crisis.
“It’s a good feeling that people receive these meals and we know they need them,” Patel said.
So far, he said last week in their first full week, they delivered 1,000 meals to hospitals, police departments and fire stations in metro Atlanta.
Wednesday, Patel said he made his first trip to the Atlanta Mission and delivered 200 meals there.
© 2020 Cox Media Group