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Good deeds during coronavirus outbreak: Mystic restaurant owner gives tips, 50% of gift card sales to employees out of work

Coronavirus

MYSTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Grass & Bone in Mystic is looking a bit different these days. From the signs explaining the efforts to stop the spread of germs to the food displays on tables, which are no longer available for dine-in service.

This new grab-and-go take out only model means fewer workers are needed during this coronavirus crisis.

“Both kitchen folks and front of the house folks are out of work right now,” said Dan Meiser, founder of the restaurant group the 85th Day Food Community. “As our models have scaled down to be able to address this we had to come out with ways to help those folks.”

He is keeping Grass & Bone and his Engine Room restaurants open for take out and delivery and said 50% of all gift card sales will go into a fund to help his employees who are now out of work.

“You know we say it every day: ‘we’re a family,’” said Meiser.

Another thing Meiser is doing is making sure all of the tips left at the restaurants go to the workers who are home. Only salaried staff are on duty now.

State Representative Joseph de la Cruz and his wife Tammy are also hoping to help others.

“We have neighbors that have asthma that we weren’t aware of and they’re a little nervous about going grocery shopping,” said de la Cruz.

They have issued a good neighbor challenge to get neighbors to help neighbors especially the elderly and those living alone.

“That’s been the biggest push is to keep those folks out of danger,” said de la Cruz.

They went to their Groton neighbors and compiled a list of phone numbers.

“If I’m going to the store and there’s 10 people who need just a couple of things, we can do that and limit, so that’s 10 less people that are in the store that day,” explained the de la Cruz.

Meanwhile, members of the Shoreline Church in Old Lyme are offering to pick up and deliver groceries, prescriptions and other essentials for their neighbors who are at risk of contracting the coronavirus or are afraid to go out in public.

“We can solve all our problems if we just help each other,” said de la Cruz.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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