Mimmo Alboumeh closed his three Red Pepper Taqueria locations last week because of COVID-19. But two days later he opened the Brookhaven restaurant and paid about eight employees to make boxes of tacos meals for the area homeless and shelters. “We had inventory in house that we have to try to sell or give away,” said an emotional Alboumeh. He explained that the restaurant received a food delivery the day it closed. “I have food I try to use day by day and people who want to work. I felt it was the proper thing to do.”
On Friday Alboumeh will open the Brookhaven restaurant again to feed his 160 employees who want to come by the restaurant for a meal one at a time and any homeless or shelters who want to pick up meals for their clients.
Several area food distributors donated for the purpose, he said. “They want to help me help others.”
At least 500 people received meals last week either through the restaurant managers passing them out on the street or the boxes of two tacos, rice and beans being given to Second Helpings Atlanta, which started at Temple Sinai and rescues and distributes leftover food that otherwise would have been thrown away.
The restaurant has donated food to Second Helpings and held dining fundraisers the past few years. Alboumeh also has worked with the Jewish community through the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and Hadassah.
“Because of the generosity of Chef Mimmo, Second Helpings Atlanta was able to ensure that a partner agency that serves hungry people [Action Ministries Women’s Community Kitchen] had a freshly prepared, hot meal on a day when they wouldn’t have otherwise received one,” Andrea Jaron, executive director of Second Helpings Atlanta, told the AJT. “During this time of great need, we are so grateful to Chef Mimmo and the kindness he has shown to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”
For more information about Second Helpings, visit https://www.secondhelpingsatlanta.org