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Affordable housing developers are teaming with community leaders and restaurants to provide meals for front-line workers at Metropolitan Hospital in East Harlem, N.Y.

Twenty neighborhood restaurants and delis, which are struggling to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, will participate by providing 180 lunches and 180 dinners for hospital employees each day on a rotating basis until the crisis subsides. L+M Development Partners, Jonathan Rose Cos., and Acacia Network have donated $115,000 to cover the costs of the initiative. Union Settlement, the largest social service provider in the neighborhood, will coordinate the funding and the restaurant outreach while working with Metropolitan Hospital’s to schedule deliveries.

The initiative, which launched April 13, stemmed from efforts by L+M Development CEO and founding partner Ron Moelis and Jonathan F.P. Rose, founder and CEO of Jonathan Rose Cos. The two affordable housing leaders had reached out to Manhattan Borough president Gale Brewer and council member Diana Ayala about providing $100,000 in funding to cover urgent needs in East Harlem. The elected officials had been in communication with the NYC Health + Hospitals and learned that the round-the-clock workers caring for COVID-19 patients were in need of food.

“We will never be able to fully thank our health care workers for their heroic efforts in this crisis, but we can and should try to do everything we can to make it easier for them to do their jobs,” said Rose. “The fact that we can do so, while also helping over a dozen struggling East Harlem restaurants, makes this entire effort particularly satisfying, and I am grateful to be part of it.”

Moelis added: “We care deeply about East Harlem and saw this as a critical opportunity to assist the dedicated hospital workers who are working so hard to keep everyone safe, while at the same time helping local East Harlem businesses that are struggling to survive.

Raul Russi, president and CEO of Acacia Network, which agreed to contribute an additional $15,000 in funding, said the crisis has challenged the community in a way never imagined before. “The people of New York City, especially our Latino and African-American communities, continue to suffer the greatest blows during this pandemic. As a primarily Latino organization, Acacia stands ready to support initiatives that seek to help those on the front lines—particularly essential workers.”