Coronavirus News: Restaurants step up to feed New York City hospital workers

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Some restaurant owners and workers are paying it forward to hospital workers in New York City with delicious meals.

"I saw them working tirelessly like crazy," said Stratis Morfogen, Brooklyn Chop House, Head of Operations.

Morfogen ended up in the ER two weeks ago for something unrelated to the coronavirus. He decided then to use his job as head of operations at the Brooklyn Chop House to feed the front line.

"We're up to nine hospitals and we do 150-200 portions a day," Morfogen said.

The restaurant's vendors are supplying most of the food.

"What else can I do? I'm not a doctor. I can't help in the healthcare field," said Frank Vellucci, Sweetcatch Poke.

It's a similar story for New York native Frank Vellucci. Four of his five Sweetcatch Poke restaurants remain open, and he's been giving away bowl after bowl. With hugs off limits, he's getting plenty of smiles.
"If I can serve them some food and make them feel good that's all I care about," Vellucci said.

Then there's the restaurant LouLou. It only opened March 5. On March 17, just 12 days later, restaurants were limited to take out and pick up only. Talk about timing.

"It's tough, no way around it, we just roll with the punches," said Mathias Van Leyden, LouLou.

LouLou started fundraising, not to save their business, but to feed hospital workers. They've delivered several hundred meals already.

"Like a braised short rib chicken, warm and full at the end of the day," said Jarett Brodie, Chef, LouLou.

Cooking with a profound purpose.

"One thing that has been really fulfilling, I see my staff now smiling," Morfogen said.

They're smiling because acts like these are nourishing all the way around.

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