EMERYVILLE (KPIX) — The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted innumerable aspects of life in the Bay Area, from the strain it brings to first responders to the toll it has taken on local businesses.

When coronavirus lockdown hit, it was quite a shock to the owner of Best Coast Burritos, a 2-location chain of East Bay restaurants. Business nearly evaporated but the quick action of owner Alvin Shen turned a dire situation into a win-win for his business and for first responders.

Best Coast Burritos is once again serving up hundreds of meals a day. It’s a stark contrast to the situation in mid-March, when California’s first shelter-at-home order was put into place.

“We noticed a huge drop in business — we had to reduce our hours,” said Best Coast Burritos employee Christopher Chun.

Shen tried to find a way to cook up some new business.

“We know how to make food and we know how to make a lot of it and that’s the best way we can help during this pandemic,” he said.

Shen’s idea was to deliver food to those working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic in his community.

Best Coast Burritos is rolling out hundreds of burritos a day to doctors and nurses at hospitals throughout the Bay Area.

“If we can feed people and give them sustenance and give them a hot meal, that gives us something to look forward to every day,” Shen said.

His efforts have been made possible thanks to donations from all over the world.

Money keeps pouring into Shen’s GoFundMe page so Best Coast Burrito can continue to deliver to first responders.

Alvin then makes most of the deliveries himself.

“Literally the nurses come out to receive the food and they are in tears,” Shen said.

A hundred burritos were delivered to Kaiser in Richmond on Friday night and Shen hopes they can continue to do this for many weeks to come.

WEBLINK: Feed the First Responders (Best Coast Burritos)

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