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South Florida Restaurants Stepping Up To Feed Families, First Responders At Surfside Condo Collapse

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Gourmet deli sandwiches are on the menu every day at Josh's Deli in Surfside for 12 years now. But on this Wednesday, 40 delicious subs headed out to the families of the victims of the building collapse and those left homeless from the adjacent tower that's still standing.

"The right thing to do is do as much as you can, so at the deli I've been focusing on what I can do well, which is making sandwiches and listening to people," said Joshua Marcus, owner and Chef of Josh's Deli.

Sullivan Street Bakery donated the bread. Jennifer's Homemade donated the bread sticks. Marcus makes the meat in-house. Loyal customers have donated money and supplies to Josh to help him help others.

"I have plenty of money. I had police officers come in eating and they don't pay, so I'm really just doing whatever we can to settle people down as much as I can," Marcus said.

Ellen Bowen of Food Rescue Miami and Surfside resident and food writer Sara Liss have been bringing food to families in hotels since they've arrived.

We've been working with almost 20 different restaurants from Coral Gables all the way to North Beach. Amazing chef like Michelle Bernstein Michael Schwartz and Josh are providing wonderful meals that give a lot of comfort to those families," said Bowen.

"The outpouring of love has been really overwhelming and lovely.  I've just been able to help Ellen with Miami Food Rescue to do the right thing and reach the families," said Liss.

Steve Stowe of the Miami Heat Charitable Fund showed up with player Tyler Herro on day one to deliver water to first responders. They are working with many restaurants such as Tap 42, who is donating money and 200 Meals this Friday, as well as Temple Street Eatery, donating vegan bowls, and Cheeseburger Baby delivering food to the first responders. So many are jumping in to help.

"They are looking to us saying we are here, whenever you call us, we are ready to go," said Stowe. "Whether it's 100 sandwiches, 500 sandwiches, 215 meals, 33 meals, whatever it is and the number has been above and beyond anything I've ever seen."

Bodega Taqueria y Tequila is matching all donated meal orders placed on to those affected by the Champlain Building Tragedy and the First Responders leading the search and rescue efforts.

So many want to help. It's very important to have a coordinated effort so food is not wasted.

For more information on how to donate, visit and search the Miami branch. Restaurants wanting to donate – no home cooked meals accepted – should call (305) 439-6316.

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