The government has been confused as to how to handle it, individuals are reluctant to commit to social distancing and mask wearing and Coronavirus is raging across the country and across Utah, leaving thousands sick, unemployed and in need.

But as always, the solution to crisis is community. We are stronger and more effective together and the efforts of several local entities are proof.

“Our industry has been hit harder than any other,” says Nicole Mouskondis. She’s talking about the restaurant business and she’s probably right. As co-owner of Nicholas and Company, which for generations has supplied restaurants all across Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and other neighboring states, she should know. The restaurant industry is notoriously difficult, margins are tiny, customers are fickle and trends come and go in the time it takes to swallow an amuse-bouche. And the trouble trickles up, from the chef-run bistro in your neighborhood to the company that supplies it with ingredients.

“We lost half our business overnight,” says Peter Mouskondis, partner with Nicole. “There has been mass confusion—customers couldn’t pay, we still had pre-ordered product coming into our warehouses with no place for it to go.”

“At the same time we needed to solve our own situation, we wanted to help our customers,” says Nicole. “They’re our friends.”

The bright idea for a win-win-win solution is based on partnerships. Needing a non-profit partner, Nicholas joined with the Utah Football Foundation back in April and founded Helping Heroes. Together with restaurant partners the organization delivers food to Covid-19 responders.

Nicholas and Company donates food, containers and delivery services. Culinary partners donate labor to prepare, cook and package meals which are delivered by Cub, driving the Nicholas van, to facilities in need like Rocky Mountain Care in various locations, Sarah Daft House, People’s Health Clinic in Park City and South Metro Fire Department.

So far, Cafe Trio, Cuisine Unlimited, Culinary Crafts and Stoneground Kitchen are participating in program and Helping Heroes has delivered thousands of meals.

Interested in helping? Go to utahfootballfoundation.com/events/help-covid-19-responders/