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LA Chef Nancy Silverton Handing Out Free Meals To Industry Workers Impacted By Coronavirus Pandemic

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Clorox wipes and toilet paper are among the most popular items at a relief center set up in one of the dining rooms at one of the city's most trendy and upscale restaurant, Pizzeria Mozza.

Celebrated Los Angeles chef Nancy Silverton, the co-owner of the Mozza group, and some of her staff are giving out free meals and other critical items like wipes to restaurant service industry workers who are now jobless because of the coronavirus outbreak and its resulting shutdowns.

"It's its own catastrophe," Silverton said. "And one we know no end to."

The effort was made possible, in part, by a $50,000 donation from Makers Mark Bourbon.

"Just talking about the restaurant industry, none of us know when we can open our restaurants again," Silverton said. "None of us know if we can open our restaurants again, and nobody knows what that will be like when we open our restaurants again."

For several hours, the line stretched around the block where the restaurant is located at Highland and Melrose. Among those waiting were a father who came to get dinner for his teenage son.

"Little chicken bolognese," he said.

The man works as a server at two restaurants, both of which have closed.

"I'm not paying any of my bills," he said. "I called everybody today. I said, 'You got to wait.' Car payment, rent, gas company, DWP."

Silverton said being kind right now was a welcome distraction.

"Sitting around watching the news, feeling helpless is an awful feeling," she said. "But at least everybody here has so much pride that they're doing something that helps."

Relief supplies will be available for the next two weeks from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the restaurant. Those in need should bring a schedule and a pay stub in order to prove that they work in the restaurant industry.

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