Smithtown restaurant serves up dozens of free meals for those in need

Posted: Updated:

A restaurant in Smithtown has found the recipe for making this dark time a bit brighter for those in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At La Famiglia, the cooks are serving up Italian meals with a side of compassion to ease the hardship caused by COVID-19.

Owner John Cracchiolo is donating free meals to families and seniors in need. He says the inspiration came from his father.

"I was talking to my family and said I can't believe it. I've been in Smithtown for almost 19 years. I've never seen anything like this. My father turned around to me and said, 'John, it's tough for everyone. Go and do something good,'" says Cracchiolo.

Cracchiolo put the word out on Facebook. As soon as orders started pouring in, the meals went out into the community.

The restaurant served up 107 free meals Friday, according to Cracchiolo.

La Famiglia is also donating meals to those who work on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus -- nurses and doctors at St. Cathernie of Siena Medical Center, as well as Smithtown's police and fire departments.

Cracchiolo is making the donations even as his restaurant takes a hit since they can't offer in-house dining. La Famiglia manager Giovanni Divella says they can't ignore the need in the community.

"I had a lady who hadn't eaten in three days, a young girl who worked in a jewelry store with children who couldn't feed her kids," says Divella. "So many stories, so much heartbreak. And I'm just honored to be able to help."

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