WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Antonio Di Lisio’s restaurant hasn’t been the bustling Italian restaurant it once was before the coronavirus pandemic.
He says times are tough, and now instead of loud crowds and smiling faces, Antonio sees empty chairs and idle pepper shakers when he steps out into the dining room of Di Lisio’s Italian Restaurant.
He, like many others, is doing everything he can to make it through the coming weeks and months by shifting to take out and closing up shop early if things are slow.
Nevertheless, Antonio knows that small business owners aren’t the only ones struggling.
“It’s a bad situation, so everybody we need to try to help each other, and there’s people losing their jobs left and right,” he said.
But instead of dwelling on the negative, Antonio decided to focus on what he could do to bring some much-needed help to the most desperate of us, families at the Salvation Army shelter on Trade St.
Antonio said, “A good customer of mine that I’ve known for a long long time, he called me yesterday and he said ‘Hey what do you think, We going to help these people out?’ I was like ‘Hey man, Why not?'”
With the help of this anonymous customer, Antonio was able to make enough food to feed the nearly 40 people at the shelter.
“It helps us tremendously because donations are pretty flat right now because we have a lot of people who are fearful. They’re holding on to cash, watching the stock market,” said Major Jim Rickard of the Salvation Army of Winston-Salem.
The donation by Di Lisio’s restaurant will help the Salvation Army use funds that would have been used to feed families in their shelter to provide other services. Major Rickard adds, “We’re going to get through this time together.”
And Antonio says that he will continue to help out as long as he can because even with the virus isolating and quarantining us, some good food and a full belly can make anyone smile.