Boston restaurant raises money to pay for first responders’ meals

BOSTON (WHDH) - A downtown Boston restaurant is using donations to make lunch for emergency responders in need of a hot meal.

Villa Mexico Cafe has lost 80 percent of its business since the coronavirus pandemic began and the kitchen “feels like zombie land sometimes,” according to general manager Bessie King. So the restaurant is bringing its food to hungry diners — it raises donations to pay for first responders’ meals, which it then delivers.

“The system really does two things — it helps us stay in business, and we can get food to people who really deserve it right now, because they’re on the front lines doing miracles,” King said.

King and her mother Julie, who owns the cafe, made and delivered 100 burritos for the emergency department at Boston Medical Center on Tuesday, and plan to make similar deliveries to Children’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital later this week.

“They are very happy, especially when we called them, they were like ‘Wow, this is wonderful, thank you so much!'” said Julie King of the BMC delivery. “That’s what we really like, the people feel happy.”

“The donations from the community have just been extraordinary, we’re very grateful,” said emergency room nurse educator Maureen Plunkett. “I feel like the community is taking care of us so we can take care of the community we serve.”

And Julia King said she made sure to take extra care with Tuesday’s order — the burritos are medium heat for doctors’ and nurses’ safety.

“If they eat the spicy burritos they’d be like ‘Ahhh!'” King joked.

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