A courier company has found a way to stimulate the local economy, keep restaurant workers employed, and feed frontline heroes, senior citizens and those in need. And it all began with a random act of kindness.
Since April 1, RDS Delivery in Long Island City has delivered over 137,000 meals to healthcare workers and those in need. It started with a call to Larry Zogby, the owner of RDS delivery, from Andy Duddleston, managing partner of The Little Beet in Manhattan.
The chain is a long-time client of RDS Delivery, which delivers products between their seven metro-area restaurants. Duddleston told Zogby he had an inventory of food he would not be able to serve because he expected the governor to shut down the state, including restaurants.
He asked him to help him find a way to get the food to those who needed it, and the economic slowdown meant RDS Delivery had excess capacity.
“Andy called on us to move the excess food inventory to soup kitchens and nonprofits,” said Zogby. “We loved the idea of helping to put that food to good use instead of it going to waste or ending up in the garbage.”
Then, one of the restaurant’s patrons raised $30,000 to feed frontline workers, making it possible for Little Beet restaurants to make anywhere from 250 to 500 meals a day for hospital staff around the city.
“I have no idea how we’re going to deliver all that food,” said Becky Mulligan, CEO of The Little Beet Brands said.
Soon RDS was delivering over 25,000 meals a week, working with other restaurants to not only hospital staff, but also those who depend on soup kitchens and other community-based organizations.
“In the process, we’ve become part of a bigger effort that not only feeds people, but also keeps restaurants in business and their workers employed,” Zogby said. “I was truly amazed and proud at how we all worked together during this pandemic for the good of the whole. I am a firm believer that good things can always arise from a crisis.”
“Larry and the entire RDS team are amazing partners for The Little Beet,” added Mulligan. “We have worked together for years, however during the COVID-19 crisis we have found that we can band together to serve our city in new ways that are very meaningful.
“From taking donations to food banks when we closed restaurants to stepping up for daily deliveries to hospitals, frontline workers, and our cities most vulnerable and food challenged, Larry just says ‘yes’ and figures out how to make it happen,” she continued.