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When times get tough, the tough get together and hearts expand.  Californians have been coming together to make the best of a dreadful situation.  Since the Coronavirus hit barely two weeks ago, lives have unexpectedly gone from manageable to unimaginable.  But there’s some help out there.

In partnership with Maker’s Mark, Osteria Mozza has turned 6610 Melrose Ave. into a relief center for any restaurant worker who has been laid off or has had a significant reduction in hours and/or pay. They’re also offering help for those in dire need of food and supplies. Each night, they’re pack hundreds of to-go dinners that people can come to pick up and take home. Dinners are offered on a first come, first serve basis. Limit two per person unless there is an emergency situation.  There’s a limit on how much any one person can take of the supplies, but they will be handed out free to those in need. The program will be offered throughout the quarantine period or until they can no longer financially support it. There will also be  supplies on hand for those in need — diapers, wipes, baby food, non-perishable canned foods and cereals, toilet paper, Tylenol and the like. If you would like to donate supplies, please email Kate Green (kgreen@pizzeriamozza.com).

Details of the program are below:

  • Dinner pickup address: 6610 Melrose Ave, Hancock Park
  • This program will be offered seven nights a week until otherwise notified.
  • Pickup time is 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. nightly.
  • There is ample free parking.
  • Everyone must show proper ID and have some identifying paperwork to prove recent employment at a restaurant.
  • We ask everyone to be patient should there be long lines. We ask that you practice social distancing and stay 6 feet from each other.
  • We will be offering 300 dinners a night, first come, first serve.

Hawaiian Fish Taco and Cheddar Fries (Courtesy Islands)

Islands is teaming up with  local senior citizen centers to ensure residents receive regular meals. Every Islands location will donate one free meal directly to a local senior citizen center when an adult entree is purchased through curbside pickup or takeout.

“This crisis has created many segments within our communities that are in desperate need of support,” Islands president Michael Smith said in a statement. “One segment that the crisis has impacted severely is our elderly population. Constantly evolving mandates and regulations have made it extremely difficult for this group to get groceries and meals. That’s why we are doing what we can to help make sure that they receive regular meals.”

To date, enough entrees have been sold to donate 42,500 meals to senior citizens.

As hospitals and food shelters prepare for unprecedented use as well as disruptions in their supply and volunteers, the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation is activating $1.25 million in emergency funding to support health and hunger relief organizations on the frontlines of the Coronavirus response. Emergency grants are meant to provide flexible funding for organizations so they can apply for support. Donations to the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund can be made at joyinchildhoodfoundation.org.

Nonprofits are invited to apply for a grant at joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/covid19grants. Grants will be reviewed on a rolling basis and donations will be made immediately upon approval.

Pechanga Warehouse Team Member, Darren Henderson stacks boxes of eggs on a pallet jack (Courtesy Pechanga Casino Resort)

One of the two first casino resorts to shut down operations on March 15, Pechanga was left with more fresh food than they knew what to do with. Dozens of giant, 25-pound bags of onions, carrots and celery, pallets of f ripe strawberries and blackberries, thousands of pounds of cantaloupes and honeydew melons, $10,000 in milk (461 gallons) and dairy products alone were donated to  local charities serving the disadvantaged and homeless, including Project T.O.U.C.H.

Pechanga’s closure was announced to last at least through the end of March, and its team members are receiving their base pay and benefits during that time.