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Redwood Steakhouse feeding Whaley Children’s Center residents during pandemic

(WJRT)
Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 5:04 PM EDT
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(3/31/2020) - As a nonprofit, Whaley Children's Center in Flint budgets for every item they need.

CEO Mindy Williams says they stay in the budget thanks to automatic shipments. But, when the coronavirus pandemic began, those shipments stopped, leaving her crew scrambling to get dinner on the table.

Then, Williams explained, Luis Fernandes from Redwood Steakhouse called.

"In his own words, he said, 'Your kids need good food to eat and they shouldn't have to worry. You shouldn't have to worry about feeding them during this time, you take care of the kids and I'll take care of dinner for as long as I can.'"

Williams explained the meal deliveries started on March 21st. Fernandes has brought dinner to them every night since.

And, it's not just for their 42 kids. Redwood Steakhouse is providing dinner for the 30 employees who eat with them, too.

Williams said before they called to help, she and several others from her staff were hitting up stores across Genesee County at all different hours of the day and night. Because with that many mouths to feed, Williams said they need a lot of groceries.

She's not sure what Whaley would've done without these superheroes.

"I'm so thankful to them. I can never express to them how many lives that they have sincerely changed by doing this," she said. "We run this place like a family and our family is extended to Redwood, they're part of our family. They've been a part of us for so long. I just, I hope that they are so proud that they're able to do this for our kids because we are so so thankful."

And it's important to remember, this is not an easy time right now for restaurants.

Williams added she's more than overwhelmed thinking about how Redwood has lost business, but didn't hesitate to still give back to the community.