The Bay Shore Restaurant Committee’s ongoing efforts to feed frontline healthcare and other workers during the COVID-19 outbreak on Long Island just got a $5,000 boost from Teachers Federal Credit Union.
Teachers representatives headed to downtown’s Local Burger Co. Tuesday to present the restaurants with a check.
“Our CEO Brad Calhoun’s priorities are to do three things during this pandemic: it is to support our people, to support our members and, of course, to support our community,” said Inna Sprague, a Teachers chief experience officer. “This is our due diligence as an organization to continue to support local communities.”
The credit union has also made $5,000 donations to similar efforts in the Patchogue, Port Jefferson and Babylon areas.
In Bay Shore, the restaurants started with donating food outright to Southside Hospital workers, though that effort could only go so far without funding.
Mike McElwee of the restaurant committee, which is part of the Bay Shore Chamber of Commerce, said the restaurants will use the money to give a boost to others on the front lines, such as local EMTs and volunteer firefighters, and others.
With restaurants relegated only to takeout and delivery, they, too, need the financial support to keep the lights on through the crisis.
“This helps some of the restaurants that have either had to entirely close for a certain period or that are struggling that aren’t exactly takeout-type restaurants,” McElwee said. “We’re going to try to work with as many of the restaurants as we can to get them a little bit of business from this.”
While many of the hospital workers have food available, the special restaurant trays provides a morale boost in the midst of profoundly difficult working conditions. The deliveries also remind the workers that the community has their backs, the restaurant owners have said.
Photo (L-R): Brendan Bulfin of Napper Tandy’s, Anthony Tartaglia of Verde and Coastal, Inna Sprague and Suresh Renganathan, both of Teachers, and Local Burger Co.’s Mike McElwee in Bay Shore Tuesday. (Michael White)