BROOKLYN WEEKLY, MARCH 29, 2020
delivering free lunches
to those in need
Jess Calvo and Elizabeth Kanyawee Calvo of Thai Farm Kitchen. Photo courtesy Thai Farm Kitchen
BY BEN VERDE
Owners of a Kensington eatery say
they’re offering to deliver free lunches to
locals who need them in attempt to shine a
light during dark times.
“We just want to be a small candlelight
to the community, and make some light in
the darkness,” said Jess Calvo, the owner
of Thai Farm Kitchen.
The Church Avenue restaurant is offering
to deliver lunches right to the door
of anyone who needs it within a one-mile
radius, including seniors and people with
disabilities, without expectation of a tip or
any unnecessary human contact.
Calvo, who owns Thai Farm Kitchen
along with his wife Elizabeth Kanyawee
Calvo, said he decided to pitch in after
watching the groundswell of negativity
and suffering that has stemmed from the
spread of the novel coronavirus, including
hate crimes towards Asians, mass layoffs,
and scammers seeking to exploit the vulnerable.
The Kensington restaurateur said he
felt the need to help however and whoever
he could, and that everyone who is able
should try and do the same.
“If you can offer just a small gesture to
anybody, even helping someone crossing
the road would be good enough,” he said.
As of March 23, Calvo said his restaurant
is delivering to about seven people per
day, but that number is growing as more
people reach out to them. Already, Thai
Farm Kitchen has helped some seniors in
the neighborhood, including a 70-year-old
woman who is looking after her 8-year-old
grandson while his mother is quarantined
with coronavirus. All have responded
with gratitude, with some breaking down
in tears as they thanked Calvo — who
makes sure to check in on those he helps
over the phone as they may be isolated.
Meanwhile, Thai Farm Kitchen has
been hit just as hard as any other local
business, said Calvo, who has had to move
his full-time staff to a part-time schedule
while he remains open for takeout and delivery
But, while the staff may be working
less, Calvo said the opportunity to help
others has given his employees a sense of
purpose during the pandemic, and that
others looking to volunteer have even
reached out offering to help with deliveries.
“They feel honored to do this,” he said.
“They feel that they are also helping other
people, they feel connected, they feel that
they are doing something great, everybody
is lifting up their candle.”
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