The restaurant industry will face a daunting rebound when the COVID-19 pandemic passes.
Right now, restaurants across the state are limited to take out and delivery services under the Governor's Safer at Home order, which is scheduled to run through May 26.
In an effort to show appreciation for workers fighting the coronavirus, while also helping local restaurants survive the tough times, Lori Klosowski and her family started the Meals Matter Movement.
- Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Live Updates From Across the State
- We're Open: These Restaurants Are Still Offering Carryout And Delivery
- FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus News And Resources You Can Use
Klosowski's youngest son Sam, 19, is battling Hodgkin lymphoma. He underwent a stem cell transplant two months ago as part of his treatment.
Because Sam is at risk of serious complications should he contract COVID-19, the family has been quarantined at the advice of doctors since February 3.
"We've been in quarantine a long time, and we just really wanted to do something to help," said Klosowski.
So her family came up with the idea of the Meals Matter Movement.
They began collecting donations to buy meals for medical professionals and first responders who continue to work on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus.
Money raised is turned over to Ma Fischer's on Farwell, which then cooks and delivers the meals.
Each donation of $10 buys a meal.
So far, the organization has raised more than $5,000. That includes fundraising efforts by the Oak Creek chapter of the Meals Matter Movement, which has partnered up with Jim Dandy's Pub & Grill.
Klosowski said the group is also launching an Oconomowoc chapter.
"It's been gaining momentum, which is super exciting," she said.
She said recipients of the meals, at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital, as well as at local police and fire departments, have been very appreciative of the effort.
"It's so great to have something positive to focus on and be a part of," Klosowski said.
She hopes the business the Meals Matter Movement is bringing in to the local restaurants it's partnered with will help keep them afloat during a time when business is slow.
"It's helping them, maybe, to keep an extra employee there working so they can do the delivery," Klosowski said.
As the community rebounds in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, Klosowski hopes the effort and time Ma Fischer's and Jim Dandy's put towards project will help them draw customers back in.
"I really think people are going to remember that, and be grateful afterwards, when all of this is behind us," she said.
The Meals Matter Movement's website shows a running tally of how many meals the group has donated to date.