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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Salvation Army of Memphis & the Mid-South have partnered with several local restaurants to help feed the hungry and keep small businesses running during the coronavirus outbreak.

A spokeswoman with the Salvation Army says thanks to a group of anonymous donors, funds were donated to restaurants such as Girabaldi’s to assist the Salvation Army in giving meals to those in need during this pandemic.

Michael Garibaldi, owner of Garibaldi’s Pizza, says the COVID-19 outbreak has been rough on business, cutting sales significantly.

“We’ve seen some tough times here, ups and downs, but this is the toughest,” Garibaldi said.

He says his business is used to doing carry-out and delivery orders, so having to close the dining room wasn’t a major problem. However, he says they’ve had to reduce employee’s hours.

Garibaldi says when he was presented with the idea to assist the Salvation Army in preparing meals for the homeless, he knew this could be the next best option. Not only for his employees, but also for the community.

“If they’re not getting the hours that they normally have, I understand it impacts their livelihood as well,” Garibaldi said. “So, this was an opportunity for us to get them a little bit more, a few more hours or whatever I can do to help them out.”

Garibaldi says he and his staff spent the morning preparing 250 meals. He says this act of kindness is what the community needs to overcome the virus.

“When the times get tough, what this community needs is all the resources pulled together to come together for the common good, and that’s what happened here today,” Garibaldi said.

The Salvation Army says several more businesses have taken part in the partnership thanks to the anonymous donors, and they’ll be passing out food twice a week.