Quinn’s Irish Pub in Worcester hasn’t been able to open its doors to the many local police officers, firefighters, nurses and EMTs who often grab a pint at the bar or take in an Irish band at the neighborhood haunt.
They're fighting the coronavirus, while restaurants across Massachusetts can only offer food to take out or deliver.
“I was trying to figure out a way to give back and, I think, as we were doing takeout, customers were saying, 'Is there anything that we can do?'” said owner Tim Quinn.
Some of those customers own local businesses themselves, he said, and together they hatched a plan to create a partnership where they could feed front-line workers.
“The businesses are sponsoring the lunches and I ask the businesses, 'Is there somebody specifically you’d like to donate to?'” said Quinn, adding, “Is your neighbor a nurse, is your neighbor a police or fireman?”
With the blessing of the Chamber of Commerce, Quinn’s staff prepares the meals – individually packaged and then boxed up – and Quinn drives them himself, coordinating when and where to drop them off.
“We’ve been up to the hospital a number of times, we’re headed to the fire department today to drop off a lunch,” Quinn said.
A Worcester firefighter accepting the meals Friday said, “This is awesome, we really appreciate it.”
Quinn says they even highlight each business that’s donating that day’s lunch or dinner on their social media pages as a thank you for providing “food for the frontline” in the midst of this pandemic.
“We’d be happy to keep this going as long as possible,” Quinn said.
Quinn says they’ve had so much interest from businesses wanting to donate meals, they’re already booked up for the next month and they plan to get some of their sister restaurants involved to increase their reach.