Coronavirus prompts restaurants, casinos to make donations

MGM Resorts has already donated over 300K pounds of food

Despite taking a hit themselves, scores of restaurants and casinos are finding ways to give back to communities suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

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Both industries are facing significant financial setbacks as a growing list of states ban in service dining and officials urge against large gatherings in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus via human-human contact.

However, even after being forced to close, The Downtown Café on Long Island, New York, began donating leftovers to help feed the community, owner John Zozzaro told FOX Business' Melissa Francis Thursday on "After the Bell".

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“Anytime we have leftovers or anything that we make a mistake we put it away, freeze it and hand it to Island Harvest," Zozzaro said, adding that the restaurant works to "do as much as they can" to support the community year-round.

The Island Harvest Food Bank provides food and other resources for hundreds of thousands of people in need across Long Island.

Zozzaro’s efforts come despite having to trim business down to take out and delivery only. Since the outbreak, the restaurant has had to cut down on hours and on waiters, some of whom have since transitioned to secondary delivery drivers, he said.

“All the chairs are on the table and no one is coming in here and getting a beverage or ordering dinner, ” Zozzaro added.

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Likewise, casinos that are also facing harsh times have turned their misfortunes into an opportunity to help the community.

On Tuesday, MGM Springfield donated more than 12,000 pounds of food to several food banks. The total donation works out to over 10,000 meals, Samantha Cummis, MGM Resorts International's executive director of communication, told FOX Business on Friday.

The move comes just after the Massachusetts Gaming Commission temporarily closed the casino for at least two weeks.

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Currently, MGM Resorts across seven states are donating to their local communities. As of Friday, MGM Resorts has donated more than 300,000 pounds of food across the country. This is equivalent to approximately 250,000 meals. However, that number is slated to increase, Cummis said.

“Join us in keeping those who have been hit hardest by this crisis in your positive thoughts,” MGM Springfield tweeted.

To date, cases of COVID-19 worldwide have soared past 254,000 and more than 10,000 people have died from complications of the novel coronavirus infection, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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