In trying times like the one we are currently all experiencing, local restaurants and businesses are coming together to help those on the frontlines, the ones who are protecting us all from harm’s way—the countless doctors and nurses, who work grueling hours at hospitals treating COVID-19 patients and others.
Spaghettini Pizza Trattoria in Mineola is doing its part in helping doctors and nurses at NYU Winthrop Hospital by donating food to them to show their appreciation.
“Myself and my family were born in Mineola and live in Mineola,” owner Pasquale Vetrano said. “I was born in that hospital. We see the employees every day and we wanted to help them. We are helping the front line of the ER and also had some days with free food for any employees. Next week, we will shift to feed the hard workers behind the scenes that keep the hospital clean and keep showing up. We are trying to let them know we are thinking of them during these hard times.”
“Sal Manzo is a family friend that was at our restaurant when the coronavirus first hit,” Vetrano said. “He was singing one night to his followers on his Facebook while having dinner. That’s when we said, ‘Hey, we should raise funds for the hospital front line.’”
When people buy a Spaghettini gift certificate during Manzo’s Facebook live performances, it goes directly to feed the hospital workers. When a hospital worker makes an order, the gift card balances are used for their meal.
“He sings every night at 7 p.m. and people call up Spaghettini and buy gift cards as donations or they go on our GoFundMe page,” Vetrano said. “We have made more than 8,000 meal donations to the hospital. It helps us feed the employees and also keeps some of our staff employed at our restaurant.”
Even though the restaurant is doing a good deed for others, Spaghettini is still facing hardships like most local businesses that are deemed non-essential.
“Business is down 60 percent,” Vetrano explained. “We will need to apply for a PPP loan in order to stay open when this is over. Spaghettini and all other restaurants are really just staying open to help feed people and the hard workers at this time and try to keep a few people employed. We appreciate everyone.”
To listen to Manzo’s livestream, type in Sal Manzo on Facebook. Visit www.gofundme.com/f/donate-a-meal-to-winthrop-employees to donate to Spaghettini’s GoFundMe page.
Spaghettini Pizza Trattoria is located at 106 Mineola Blvd. For more information on how to donate, call 516-750-8044.