Restaurants throughout the world have been forced to close during the Coronavirus pandemic.
But some have pivoted to providing a valuable service to their communities— like Maria Loi’s popular Greek restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, where the burners are on and the stove is still fired up.
“People still need to eat healthy and nutritious food,” Maria Loi said, in reference to her restaurant’s monumental efforts to provide hundreds of meals to healthcare workers in the New York area.
Loi has partnered with a GoFundMe campaign called “Help a Restaurant- Feed a Doctor” that helps local restaurants stay in business, while providing doctors, nurses and other health workers the necessary nutrition to work longer than normal hours as they keep people healthy during the health pandemic.
As a result, area hospitals receive daily deliveries of wholesome, hearty Greek meals— sometimes by the chef, herself, who always makes sure the meals are prepared fresh and are packed with important nutrients that people on the front lines of the hospitals need to stay healthy.
But Maria’s efforts haven’t been limited to the hospital workers. Every day, she also cooks several dozen meals that she leaves hanging outside her restaurant for the neighborhood’s homeless people.
Her choice to place the meals outside was all about dignity.
“I would never want someone to come and have to ask, or beg for food,” Loi told The Pappas Post, adding that “these people are our most vulnerable neighbors and they deserve the same dignity that everyone else does.”
Loi’s efforts were noted by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, who invited her on to their show on Thursday to share her story— and to reward her with a $5000 donation from Dole, a fruit and vegetable company that was supporting efforts like these.
Kelly and Ryan both gushed about Loi’s cooking— both are frequent guests at Loi Estiatorio and have hosted her on their show in the past, where one time Ryan Seacrest himself said her grilled lavraki (branzino) was the best in the world.
Chef Maria Loi on Live with Kelly and Ryan
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