PHOENIX — All week on ABC15 we've been sharing stories of resilience and compassion from businesses, restaurants, and communities helping each other out during the coronavirus pandemic. It has led to some incredible moments of humanity. It is also part of our "We're Open, Arizona" series, which we debuted earlier this week to shine a light local restaurants who are open and working hard to support their employees, businesses, and local neighborhoods.
Our latest feature takes us to Salad and Go, a local restaurant chain that serves organic salads and wraps via a drive-thru.
Since last week, the restaurant chain has handed out more than 24,000 free breakfast burritos and salads -- totalling $70,000+ -- to those on the front lines of this pandemic and to those workers most affected by the efforts to "flatten the curve," such as nurses, doctors, first responders, members of the Arizona National Guard, and grocery store employees.
"One of our culture traits is is compassion. We believe if we’re in a position to help, we help. We consider ourselves a for-good company, not a for-profit company," owner Roushan Christofellis told ABC15 in a video interview using Zoom earlier this week. "We believe we all have a responsibility to help more than ever before which is why we took the crisis that is going on right now to really help those that are putting themselves on the front line, sacrificing their own health and safety for the greater good."
This week's promotions for a free burrito or salad are:
- Thursday, March 26: Employees and current volunteers of homeless shelters and food banks
- Friday, March 27: Hospitality workers (hotels, restaurants, and bars), both employed, laid off, or who've had hours reduced
- Saturday, March 28: All health care workers and first responders
- Sunday, March 29: All health care workers and first responders
They are asking people to show a badge, uniform, or pay stub. The promotion is available only via the drive-thru and not through online ordering.
"We’re a small company, We’ve seen a huge decrease in our own personal revenue, right, so our sales are down, but again we feel grateful that we’re in a position to help, so we’re going to continue to help," she said. It turns out, their compassion has inspired others to help out, too, she said.
Christofellis said she has had a lot of people ask, "how can we help?" Admitting that they weren't initially prepared for that question, they've decided to help raise money for two organizations: UMOM New Day Centers, which helps people and families who are experiencing homeless, and St. Mary's Food Bank, which provides food to those who need it most.
They've added a donation link to Salad and Go's website and mobile app where people can donate if they want to.
With the amount of Facebook fans they have and their estimated reach, they've set a lofty goal: "We think we can we can maybe raise a million dollars. I think we can do it. We have a pretty amazing community here," she said.
We're Open, Arizona: We know this is a tough time for a lot of people in our community, including local restaurants and businesses. As local spots continue to serve takeout, look for ways to safely do business, and give back to our community, we want to share their stories. Visit abc15.com/open or email us at OpenInAZ@abc15.com.