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Better Together: San Jose Restaurant Provides Hot Meals For Those On COVID-19 Front Lines

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) -- San Jose's West Coast Beef Company has pledged to deliver free hot meals to workers on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus even as they fight to stay afloat during the shelter-in-place order.

"Not being able to leave the house or not being recommended to leave the house leaves restaurants quite frankly crippled," said owner John Ladas.

Ladas estimates that business is down 75% in recent weeks. Nonetheless, he says he's committed to keeping the business open and his workers employed while performing small acts of generosity and gratitude for frontline workers like firefighters and nurses.

"We have a commitment to our employees which I think comes first and foremost. So, I have people who depend on us and on this restaurant being open. So, that's the main driver for us continuing to fight the good fight if you will," Ladas says.

On Monday, West Coast Beef Company delivered meals to firefighters at San Jose's Station #9, located a short distance from their restaurant.

"We've noticed that people are thankful for firefighters. They're showing their appreciation with waves; they're bringing cookies by and cards," says Capt. Alfred Ignacio with the San Jose Fire Department.

Last week, Ladas and his team delivered meals to nurses at Stanford Hospital. In all, West Coast Beef Company has served more than 200 meals to emergency workers since the start of the outbreak. Their goal is to exceed 800 donated meals.

"They're on the front lines every day putting their lives at risk. So, it feels good doing something for them. And that's what we do cooking food, it's how we can give back," says Executive Chef Andrew Konziol.

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