STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ)–Without customers coming into many restaurants, local eateries aren’t seeing a lot of customers. But two neighbors in State College cooked up an idea to help them out.
WTAJ spoke with them about their plans to help local restaurants bounce back.
“We both sat in our living rooms and came up with this,” said State College resident Heddy Kervandjian.
She and her neighbor Karen Walker were chatting earlier in the week about the impact the coronavirus is having on their community.
“I have friends who are emergency room physicians, and friends who are owners of small restaurants and I know both are hurting in different ways,” Walker said.
With the hospital workers contantly on-the-go working up appetites, and local restaurants struggling to find customers… the pair launched their plan.
“This is a way to help both groups in one-fell-swoop,” Walker said
“It’s a win-win for our community and for all of these organizations,” Kervandjian added.
The created a Go-Fund-Me page for State College area restaurants.
The money raised will go to participating restaurants who will fill orders that will be delivered to hospital workers. They’re expecting to serve about 250 employees.
“It’s gonna generate income for the restaurants and show our support to the people at the hospital,” Kervandjian said.
She and Walker say they’re looking to give each restaurant $500-$600 to fill the orders.
Their goal is to have two local restaurants serve a meal each week. Right now they’re still looking for restaurants interested in participating.
As of Friday evening, the pair raised more than $10,000. About $6,000 was raised in the first 24 hours of the campaign.
“We keep stretching the goal, we’d love to get to $15,000 or $20,000,” Kervandjian said.
But the pair’s main concern isn’t the numbers…it’s keeping a sense of community.
“It’s no so important what the profit margins of the restaurants are, as much as a message of hope that things will change, and that people are here to support each other,” Kervandjian said.
She and Walker said the first meal from a State College restaurant, D.P. Dough, is scheduled to be served to hospital workers this upcoming Sunday.
The pair added that if community support for the campaign continues, they’ll start serving local first-responders as well.