When COVID-19 began spreading throughout the Boston area, The Bagel Shop located in Beverly and Wenham, Massachusetts wanted to help the community somehow. Owners, Hunter Tuccio and Brookes Townsend, quickly devised a program that accepts donations from their customers to provide meals for healthcare workers, and within just 15 minutes saw their customer base respond. Just a few days later, they were delivering hundreds of donated meals to local hospitals.
Hunter Tuccio is a cancer survivor himself, and feels a personal connection to the area’s hospital workers for supporting him through his illness. He knew there was a way to use his small business to help healthcare workers, and also help his staff by providing them with work. He reached out to Boston-based business, Toast POS, who initiated the first hospital connection, and has helped coordinate the donations and deliveries.
He then was able to connect with other hospitals through neighbors and customers. Currently, The Bagel Shop donation program serves Beth Israel Deaconess, Dana Farber, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Beverly Hospital.
To date, The Bagel Shop has delivered almost 1000 meals. This is thanks to the support of their customers and local businesses, including Townsend Total Energy who have donated 150 meals. They’ve also been able to bring back employees who were formerly laid off, with a team of four employees working solely on donations to nearby hospitals.
We celebrate this small business as an Everyday Hero because of their efforts to go above and beyond, giving back to their local healthcare workers while also providing jobs to small business workers. Sperry is proud to donate $1,200 to The Bagel Shop to assist with their efforts, equivalent to 100 meals that will be donated to healthcare workers.
To give back to in your local community, try searching for small businesses feeding healthcare workers in your area. You can find Go Fund Me initiatives, like Feeding the Frontline providing meals for Marquette County healthcare workers in Michigan. Or support national organizations giving food to healthcare workers, such as Slice Out Hunger’s Pizza vs Pandemic.