John: I am John Dowling and I’m here with Joe Gannascoli. Congratulations on being nominated to Model Citizens Magazine.
Joe: Thank you. I appreciate it very much.
John: I have nominated you because first off, I’m the publisher and I can! Secondly, because I do follow you and your career and activities. We initially met at your home in 2007, right after your hip surgery, so I know you have been through some adversity yourself. I see that you are paying it forward and giving back to the community with so much of your time. Every day I see another post, another magazine article, another TV interview, of you helping and providing food for those that are in need right now.
Joe: When the pandemic first hit, I saw what was happening to a lot of these restaurants and how much they were struggling. As a former chef and restauranteur, I wanted to do something to help restaurants and frontline workers in our hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and the post office. All the people that were out there who could not stay home. I started a Go Fund Me account and from there it snowballed with word-of-mouth and people who are on all my social media, some contributed small amounts and some big, but it all makes a difference. I made it to $35,000, a little short of my goal of $50,000, but I did it for seven weeks and picked up and delivered over 100 meals. Sometimes it was breakfast from IHOP or lunch from any of the different restaurants in the neighborhood or dinner up until the late-night shifts.
John: You mentioned at the beginning of the call that a lot of restaurants are hurting right now. I happen to know a bit about the hospitality industry, and it is amazing that they are even surviving with all these limitations and the stress that puts on those businesses.