Pay it 4ward: Supporting local businesses, health care workers during pandemic | KOB 4

Pay it 4ward: Supporting local businesses, health care workers during pandemic

Ryan Laughlin
Created: April 01, 2020 10:06 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Many local businesses are strained across the state, so KOB 4 decided to take a different approach to Pay it 4ward this week by buying $400 worth of food from Garcia’s Kitchen and taking it to the people working on the front lines of this pandemic.

Mia Herbert runs the catering operations at Garcia’s Kitchen. She said that they had to lay off around 150 employees and transition to takeout only after the state’s mandate.

"Our employees are going to come back, you know, as soon as we are back to regular business, our employees that were laid off will come back,” Herbert said.

Until then, the employees still working are preparing hot meals for a special group of people at Balloon Fiesta Park.

"Some of them were like, ‘Oh my gosh did prayers get answered? Did they know that I wanted Mexican food?’” said Krystle Griego, a registered nurse at Presbyterian.

Griego typically works inside urgent care, but that hasn’t been the case for the last three weeks.

"It rains, it hails, it's windy and when you come in to a hot meal it just makes you feel comforted,” she said.

Griego is just one of many health care workers testing potential COVID-19 patients. She said they test between 200 to 750 people every day and reiterated the seriousness of the pandemic.

“You know, you really have to listen to what the governor is putting out there and I think that she—she's been so proactive,” she said. “My hat’s off to her because she immediately started implementing things and it was like, ‘Wow, we did not wait. New Mexico did not wait until it was exploded,’”

After the governor announced less restrictions on COVID-19 tests, Griego said she’s been told to expect working the drive-thru clinic until at least June.

“We are here to support the community. So, don't have anxieties, because we are here for you and we're going to make sure that you're OK,” she said.

In the midst of a dire situation, Griego said the community support gives her hope.

"I think that it has really brought us together from all over. You know, when people are donating to us, and they're just taking it right out of their pockets, right out of that business and they might be struggling but they want to make sure that they are supporting us because we are supporting the community,” she said.


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