Local restaurant keeping doors open to feed frontline workers amid outbreak

BOSTON — While many restaurants have closed because of COVID-19, one local chef is keeping his open in order to feed hospital workers and others who are in need of a hot meal.

Chef Carlos Rodriguez and his staff are keeping busy making meals amid the coronavirus outbreak. Rodriguez is the executive chef and part-owner of three Boston-area restaurants, all called Orinoco, that serves Latin food.

Rodriguez and his team are making warm meals and then donating them to those on the frontlines fighting COVID-19. It's his way of helping those who help us.

“We need to feed our doctors, they need to be well-fed because a body that is well fed can go for another 24 hours and another right now they’re working doubles and they’re heroes right now,” he said.

Customers can donate a meal by ordering online. The donated money only goes to pay his employees. The restaurant has been getting so many orders, Rodgriguez has not had to lay off any workers

"You can buy one meal, five meals, six meals, it doesn't matter, we're still going to provide whatever meals we're asked to provide," he said.

Rodriguez plans to make about 5,000 meals per weekend it’s not just healthcare workers benefitting. Rodgriguez is also making food for shelters. Tuesday was the first delivery. He left more than three dozen meals outside the Boston Living Center

“If you help one, that person helps two. I tell you the help can replicate faster than the virus and that’s what we need,” he said.

Rodriguez says he will deliver 80 meals to workers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Saturday. He says any leftover money will be donated to food banks once the pandemic is over.

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