Less visible is the toll restaurant and retail closures have taken on workers that have been laid off, many of whom were living paycheck to paycheck, said Anthony Keller, assistant manager of Strumolo’s family-style Italian restaurant in Roanoke.
“Families are taking a big hit, and many are not privileged enough where they can be out of work multiple weeks,” he said.
In order to help, Strumolo’s announced April 9 that the restaurant will help alleviate some struggles by providing four local families with Easter dinner. The notion first came from the restaurant's executive chef, Max Santos, said Keller.
Meals will have a combination of salad, appetizers, entrees and desserts, depending on the size of each family, he said.
“We thought about it, and folks in Roanoke have been big supporters of the restaurant,” Keller said. “So we decided to give back too. A lot of our meals are priced for larger portions, and we have a little bit more wiggle room versus some folks.”
To nominate a family in need to be a recipient of an Easter dinner from Strumolo’s, individuals can message the restaurant on Facebook with their family’s name, situation and the amount of people in the household.
Strumolo’s staff will then pick four families and deliver Easter dinner to their door.
The restaurant is also offering regular menu options via to-go orders and curbside pickup.
Weekly specials, such as a pound of pasta with sauce for $3, are also being announced regularly on social media, Keller said.
“Roanoke is Strumolo’s home, and we are right here,” Keller said. “As soon as we set foot in Roanoke, we loved the feel of it. We just have to hang in there.”