In late April, a Winooski restaurant wondered how they could help feed those in need.
“At that time, many businesses and many restaurants were closed down,” said Tiny Thai Chef Sudathip Bedell.
As the pandemic forced businesses to close, she said downtown areas felt barren. Even as Tiny Thai had to temporarily let go of indoor dining and reduce their own hours, Bedell said the circumstances inspired her bosses to do something special.
“Fifteen dinners, so five for vegetarian and 10 for non vegetarian, so we do that twice a week every week,” said Bedell.
That’s 30 weekly meals for Allen House residents at the Howard Center, a community program for individuals suffering with mental health and substance abuse.
“Sometimes they don’t have other meals that day, so it really fills an important spot in their diet,” said Howard Center’s Residential Program Coordinator Nancy Cohen.
Cohen says her residents look forward to these meals every week.
“They (Tiny Thai) sought us out and just volunteered to giving us meals. We didn’t initiate anything at all. It all came from them,” said Cohen.
Meals are prepared every Monday and Wednesday and picked up by a Howard Center Staff member.
“We feel good doing that. We feel so great to be a part of this all,” said Bedell.
She extends her gratitude to loyal customers for their support which, in turn, supports their volunteer effort.
“Thank you to our customers for understanding our situation, and to be there to support us. Because of their support, it keeps us going,” said Bedell.
Tiny Thai is open for dinner only as well as take-out starting at 4 pm.