Waverley care packages

This restaurant in Canada just created thousands of COVID-19 care packages

Plenty of acts of kindness are shining through the darkness as communities and businesses seek to help out during the COVID-19 situation. 

One restaurant in Ottawa has stepped up to create 2,000 COVID-19 care packages for local residents who need them most.

Operation Ramzieh was started by owner of The Waverley, Abbis Mahmoud, after Ottawa health officials asked bars and restaurants to close in an effort to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

Mahmoud complied and then set to work asking for community donations from local stores and suppliers to create care packages containing things like pastas, rice, dairy and fresh fruit with each one aiming to feed a senior for 10 to 12 days.

Today was an emotional day. I want to say it was a success, but it was truly heartbreaking.  We had truckloads of food show up.  We had truckloads of food show up and with food stacked to the ceiling, it was not enough. At retail, we probably have about $100,000 worth of food and close to 1200 kits went out today to senior centers, special care facilities, community groups, social workers who distributed the kits to their clients and individuals in dire need. We thought the heartbreak of the day was when one of first deliveries took place; the recipient was in tears. But the true heartbreak came once @ctvottawa @kimberleynj and @stefan_keyes aired our story and the phone calls started coming in.  We knew that we wouldn’t be able to reach all of the vulnerable people on social media or the Internet; even in this day, many of them can’t afford to have home Internet plans or smart phones to reach out that they’re in need.  People on the other end of the phone were in tears, thanking us over and over and explaining to us that they have disabilities and can’t leave home on a good day, an elderly couple in their 80s are both using walkers and live on the third floor of an apartment building that doesn’t have an elevator, single mothers of young children etc… It is hard to believe how many people are out there, in dire need for help, during some of the most uncertain times of our lives. The support from the community has been overwhelming as well; people took time off work to come help us package and deliver! Strangers who had just gone through trauma of their own volunteered their time to help. The community needs this. Please, donate what you can so that we can keep this going until every last soul is touched.

A post shared by Operation Ramzieh (@operationramzieh) on

"At first I thought we’d feed a thousand to 1,500 people if we got lucky," Mahmoud told CTV News. "And today suppliers started showing up with all this food. Trucks and trucks of food, way more than we expected."

He said he doesn't know how long the donations will continue but that they're taking it one box at a time.

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