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Bay Area restaurants feed local healthcare workers amid coronavirus pandemic

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PALO ALTO, Calif. (KRON) — Restaurants in the Bay Area are finding ways to stay in business, while also giving back to local healthcare workers.

Tootsies at the Stanford Barn in Palo Alto is now providing meals for local hospitals through an event called “Adopt A Doc or Nurse”.

“Even the first day was 750 requests. I was like oh my,” Rocco Scordella said. “I’m gonna be busier than when I’m actually open so its good. It’s really good to see the community coming in. It’s an amazing support.”

Scordella owns Tootsies at the Stanford Barn in Palo Alto.

While he was forced to close his other restaurant, he kept Tootsies open for take and delivery to support local health care workers.

Through the community’s help, he recently started something called “Adopt a Doc or Nurse”.

“Two of our guests reached out. They were very sad that we were closing Vina and they said hey how can we help? I said you know we have Tootsies open so we can do catering we can do all sorts of stuff,” he said. “Eddie, Barry and Maria were like you know what? Let’s come up with something that people donate. I said OK lets do ‘Adopt a Doc'”.

The word quickly spread through Palo Alto. And customers like Brian O’malley dove in to help.

“We decided to work with him and sponsor first week of meals for 50 people,” O’malley said. “For breakfast and lunch, and then put the word out and its been really exciting not just seeing people jump on the band wagon and supporting Tootsies but also trying to do something similar in their own area.”

With the help of O’malley and the rest of the community, Tootsie’s already has over 2,000 meal orders to feed ER’s and ICE’s at Stanford hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s hospital of Stanford next week.

Because of the orders, Scordella says he’s now been able to bring a few employees back to work.

“It’s amazing. I think the community understands how important restaurants are and you know it’s a place for them to gather,” Scordella said. “They’re sad to see people getting laid off and losing their job and I think it’s helping each other. It’s really amazing to me. It’s touching. I was expecting some orders but not 2,000.”

“Feel like this was a almost like a one stone three birds situation where we could feel good about it,” O’malley said. “We could feel good about the caretakers and we could feel good about supporting local businesses.”

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