(GREAT NECK, N.Y.) – Lifelong Village of Great Neck resident Tamara Toro says her friends in the medical field and a brother-in-law in the restaurant business provided the perfect catalyst for a spark of civic-minded inspiration during the COVID-19 pandemic.Toro launched the “Food is Love” campaign a little over a month ago and has since raised more than $20,000. Those funds have been used to purchase meals from local restaurants, which are then delivered to hospital employees.
“In such a short period of time, Tamara Toro’s ‘Food is Love’ campaign has harnessed the generosity of hundreds of Nassau County residents to bring comfort to thousands of hospital workers and support the small business owners that make our downtown communities unique and special,” Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum (D – Great Neck) said. “She is a shining example of what can be accomplished when we work together for the greater good, and I am delighted to highlight her ongoing work in the community.”
Thus far, Toro said more than 2,500 hospital employees have received meals from approximately two-dozen area restaurants, and the diverse group is hard at work planning for Mother’s Day deliveries this weekend.
“Great Neck residents from multiple cultures can be involved in a single meal delivery,” Toro said. “It’s important to remember that we are one community, and that’s how it got done.”
Not only do the frontline workers get a meal and a pick-me-up from the generous gesture, local restaurants benefit from the purchase and word of mouth in the community. In one case, Toro recalled ordering a meal delivery from a Chinese restaurant that was struggling during the pandemic. When she called back weeks later, there was a 1 ½ hour wait.
“You could see the difference,” Toro said. “We want to give recognition and spread it out and give everyone the chance to get involved.”
To learn more about the Food is Love campaign, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/539337723383295/.