ABERDEEN, Md (WMAR) — At the Lunchbox Deli on Aberdeen Proving Ground, it's not just service with a smile, it's service for one.
"Every coffee sleeve goes out with a motivational quote," said owner Theresa Ray.
And every bagged lunch comes with a note like the one you used to get from mom, with sayings like "You rock" to make days a little brighter.
"It’s my small way to give back to the community even if it’s just giving them a smile," said ray.
Now Ray is giving back in a different way.
She knew she would see a drastic decrease in business when her only source of customers, employees and residents from the Proving Ground, started teleworking to stop the spread of COVID-19.
"I was thinking, 'How am I going to sustain business? How am I gonna keep 7 employees employed and working?'," said Ray.
But she thought of a way to help others and still keep her business alive, calling on her loyal customers.
"Maybe they would be willing to sponsor their five lunches that they aren’t purchasing because they aren’t on post and we could donate it to our first line of responders," said Ray.
"Our goal are the ones that are in the middle of this crisis so Upper Chesapeake Hospital, nursing facilities, urgent cares," said Ray.
"When I heard they were gonna do it, it was the best news," said customer Denise Walsh.
She got on board right away, buying 10 lunches.
"Small business is definitely at risk. They worked so hard to get here. I’d hate to see them not have enough people to support them," said Walsh.
In two days, they got 100 donations, but they are hoping to get a lot more, maybe some corporate sponsorships, to make a bigger impact and hire more people who are currently out of jobs.