Charity which started giving out food during COVID-19 outbreak delivers 100,000th meal

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OSSINING, Westchester Co. (WABC) -- A charitable organization in Westchester County delivered its 100,000th meal donation to those in need dealing with food insecurities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gullotta House marked the milestone by handing out 1,500 meals in Ossining Friday.

Cars lined up around the Stop and Shop parking lot as people waited for a hot meal for their family.

"Our community, right here specifically, got hit pretty hard in Ossining," Gullotta House founder and President, Matthew Gullotta, said.

He started Gullotta House after he fell on hard times several years ago and had trouble feeding his own family.

"There has to be a way that if someone needs some help, just for a short term or a couple of days, that it shouldn't matter what you made a year ago, or four weeks ago, it should matter what happens now, today," Gullotta said.

The organization started serving and delivering food in March in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and has been distributing 12,500 meals every month ever since.

In its effort, Gullotta House also helped to support local restaurants by purchasing meals from monetary donations received from the community.

They've helped restaurants like the Tasty Table which was only in its first year of business when the pandemic hit and who may not have survived otherwise.

"We were able to stay open. It's that sense of community that in this small little area of where we are in Westchester it brought everybody together," the Tasty Table's Dan Ocasio said.

The Ocasios have donated thousand of meals to health care workers and to the Gullotta House in exchange for a donation which has enabled them to keep their doors open and workers working.

Now they're paying it forward to customers who have helped them.

"Seeing those families in need and being able to be there, many times we helped in the process to give out the food, that made the difference," Lisa Ocasio said.

It was all made possible by 26 restaurants and dozens of volunteers in locations around Westchester County.

"We are grateful to our donors for making this all possible. Please patronize these restaurants who are stepping up to the plate in this moment of need," Gullotta, said. "It has been an honor, with the help of the community, to serve 100,000 meals to those struggling."

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