LITTLE ROCK, Ark — A Little Rock restaurant is helping those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic by making sure they have a hot meal.

It’s a community effort and wouldn’t happen without donations.

Empty seats and sparse sidewalks are the new norm outside the downtown restaurant Cooper Grill.

But, owner and partner Dan Kovach has found a new way to keep serving the community.

“I was just trying to think quick on my feet and, again, ways we could do something, you know, not only to keep my staff working, but other needs in the community, knowing that doctors and nurses and people in those fields were going to be overwhelmed at some point,” Kovach said.

He started a GoFundMe page to feed those working day and night during the pandemic.

“Yesterday, we saw our first big uptick with the use of the GoFundMe. We had a big order from the UAMS Emergency Department. We delivered about 55, 60 lunches over to them,” Kovach said.

They’ve also fed dozens of Baptist Health Center workers, firefighters, and police officers.

“It was a delight to see people actually taking advantage of what the community gave to them and in turn, gave to us to be able to keep our staff working,” Kovach said.

Kovach said it’s a small way to say thank you and keep workers employed.

“Our supply chain has not been affected like the grocery stores have. So, you know, we can make these meals and make this food and they just walk in and grab it and go and don’t have to worry about fighting at the grocery store and having to make food, if they even get food,” Kovach said.

All they ask is to call ahead and bring your badge or ID if you’re not in uniform.

They are providing first responders one meal a day during business hours and are still doing normal curbside and to-go orders for customers.

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