PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Local restaurants are trying to make a difference in the community.
Many business owners have been forced to lay off employees, and now millions are struggling to make ends meet.
Four Italian restaurant owners in Port Charlotte, tell Fox 4 that they are working hard to support people who are recently unemployed, providing free meals for all of those in the hospitality industry.
Frontline workers are receiving an outpour of support.
Eric Andreas, owner of Visani Restaurant says it is also important to support the millions of hospitality workers now out of a job.
“God bless them for everything they do, but they are bringing in an income, our employees aren’t and who knows when unemployment is going to come through,” said Andreas.
Most restaurant workers have been unemployed for weeks.
“Saint Patrick’s day was actually our last day, ” said Kim Brainard.
“It’s been 27 days for me now, ” said Bobbie Palfrey.
Taglio, Bella Napoli Pizzeria & Restaurant, Carmelo's Italian Ristorante, and Visani have made it their mission to lighten the load of more than 400 families.
“You would think there would be super competition, but these owners know each other and usually route for each other. We are really happy they could come together and show their employees a force for good, ” said Kim Brainard.
Each meal came prepped for two and ready for the oven.
“ We got baked ziti and homemade chicken noodle soup and bread and it was fabulous,” said Bobbie Palfrey.
Kim Brainard, a former Visani Restaurant employee, says she is keeping the hope alive.
“I feel like I can see light at the end of the tunnel. We have had a lot of things over the years and I feel like they will find the answers that we need, and this too will come to an end, ” said Kim Brainard.
Restaurant owners say they plan to serve families every Saturday from 11am -1pm until the business is back to normal.