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Restaurant donating money from every meal to mask-making efforts

Grill on the Green owner John Tsintaris is donating a portion of sales to support mask-making in the community. [File Photo]

Takeout and delivery are currently the main ways people are continuing to get their favourite meals and support local restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic. While their customers continue to support them, some restaurants are looking to give back during this time and ensure the continued safety of their customers and the community at large.

The Grill on the Green (TGOTG) in Elmira, has been inspired by local people within the community who are making masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) and want to ensure their continued success by donating money from meals sold to their efforts.

Owner John Tsintaris says he wanted to start this initiative because he was inspired by the people doing so much to help out others in the community during such a difficult time.

“It’s a time that everybody is in need and we can all do a little something to help the person next door or the person that is in need,” said Tsintaris. “This group has really, really gone above and beyond to help everyone, not just frontline workers… it’s just inspiring.”

He says he reached out to the group making masks when he was looking to purchase some and the kindness he received from the people running the project motivated him to find a way to help.

When COVID-19 forced the government to close down dine-in at restaurants, TGOTG was one of many that decided to take some time and close their doors. When they reopened, Tsintaris says it was only going to be for takeout on Good Friday, but they’ve now reopened with reduced hours and an initiative to give back.

For every meal purchased at TGOTG, $1 is being donated directly to PPE efforts in the town. While he doesn’t know how much money they have currently raised, Tsintaris says it’s “more than a few hundred dollars.”

“The materials to build a mask is not that expensive, it’s the volunteers, the labour that really go into it.”

While the future is not currently planned out, Tsintaris says his restaurant will continue to find ways to support frontline workers during this time. Whether it’s by doing things like helping out with meals or giving assistance to groups and residences that were impacted by COVID-19, the community spirit will continue to thrive at TGOTG.

For those who want some masks of their own, TGOTG is has some available for customers to take along when they pickup their order.

They thought it would be a good idea for our customers to pick up a mask if they needed one for themselves or a loved one, so they gave us a box of masks for our customers to pickup, said Tsintaris.

Donations are accepted for masks.

TGOTG is open for takeout 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Wednesday to Saturday. A menu is available online.

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