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Pasadena Firefighters, Police Benefit From ‘Feed First Responders’

As part of a growing effort nationwide to support those protecting local communities, Urth Caffé is now giving back to help first responders with a “Feed Our First Responders” program, set this week to deliver more than 1,000 meals to police officers, firefighters and paramedics working on the front lines throughout Southern California.
Urth Caffé will match every dollar donated for the meals, and is raising funds now through April 19, with lunch delivery scheduled for Pasadena Police and Fire Departments this next week. The popular dining destination on the corner of Colorado Boulevard already gave away 200 meals to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center employees, which was so well received, it gave Berkman the idea to expand the donation to become a community-wide effort.
“We know of a friend at Cedars-Sinai emergency room, and they are seeing a lot of COVID-19 patients. We really wanted to help, but they had all the masks and gear they need. So my friend observed that they could really use a healthy, nutritious meal at work, and that, I knew we could do,” said Shallom Berkman, who co-founded and co-owns Urth Caffé with his wife, Jilla. “It really went over so well and they were so appreciative. And that made us realize, what could be a better way to thank our workers on the front lines for their brave and thankless service than getting them a meal?”
Before the time of coronavirus, Pasadena’s Urth Caffé branch was the busiest in-person dining operation among its nine locations, Berkman noted, and takeout only represented about 4% of its total business. Sales now have dropped between 80-90%.
As many in the restaurant sector know, business under the “Safer at Home” mandate has become difficult, if not downright impossible, especially for those eateries without an already established takeout and delivery service. The new norms of social distancing have forced many in the industry to try and pivot operations to that end, and among them, Urth Caffé (with nine locations) has launched its meal box takeout order as it tries to keep afloat and retain as much staff as possible during pandemic safety measures, Berkman said.
“But hey, we’re still open … we’ve had to adapt to a really good, effective service and very safe food preparation. The silver lining is that when all this is over we’ll have a really good takeout and food delivery service,” he noted, adding that finding a way to give back to the communities in which they do business means a lot to him.
“Thanks to everyone for helping us nourish, care for and show our gratitude to our local heroes.”
To learn more about the “Feed Our First Responders” in Pasadena, visit or call (626) 844-4644.

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