BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Empty bar stools and tables are not what you would expect to see at a sports bar in the middle of March, but with March Madness canceled and Gov. Hogan ordering all bars and restaurants to close, it’s a reality at once-thriving establishments across Maryland.

”It’s depressing,” said Lauren Murphy, the general manager of Stained Glass Pub in Elkridge. “It’s a gut check to realize that your family’s business has gone from thriving to nothing.”

Murphy was forced to cut her staff by more than half and now relies on takeout orders to keep the family business open.

“It was extremely upsetting to have to tell these employees that we don’t have shifts right now,” Murphy said.

It’s a situation a lot of restaurants are facing across the state, but one local food distribution company is looking to help.

Saval Foodservice, which services 1,400 restaurants across the DMV area, will be giving food to their customers to give to their employees free of charge.

Brian Saval, the Vice President at Saval Foodservice, is looking to help.

“There’s a lot of restaurants that have supported us over the years and there’s a lot of great employees out there that need to feed their families,” Saval said.

On day one, they gave out 100 packages of food.

“It’s awesome,” said Jason Hall, the chef of Broken Oar Bar and Grill, who was picking up food for his staff. “I’ve got a lot of employees, a lot of them with young kids and they rely on tips to survive and at least now we know they’re going to eat.”

Saval said some of his suppliers are now stepping up, and donating food as well.

“With all of us working together we’re going to get through this, and we’re going to continue offering products out to these employees that need it.” He added.

Sean Streicher

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