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Tony Baday, propietario del restaurante Las Carnitas. Univision.
Tony Baday, owner of Las Carnitas restaurant. Photo: Univision.

Honduran migrant gives meals to Hispanic families affected by the COVID-19

Every day Las Carnitas restaurant, owned by Honduran Tony Baday, offers 150 free lunches to families with children in South Florida.

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Almost one half of the Latinos living in the United States have lost their jobs since the COVID-19 pandemic s the country.

In a critical context, some small Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs are proving to be vortexes for the community, that is, suffering the most from the economic and health impacts of the virus along with black people

In Miami, where there have already been 7,459 infections, the owner of a Latino restaurant has taken responsibility for the hard time his compatriots are going through and decided to act. 

A month ago, Tony Baday, owner of Las Carnitas, offered to provide free food to children of Hispanic families affected by the crisis. 

"I'm a father and I've been living here for 21 years and I know that, because the schools are closed, many children are left without breakfast and lunch," Tony told El País HN. He also explained how in the beginning "people would come with children, asking for work or food, or asking me what was the cheapest food."

Baday came to the United States from Honduras and his beginnings, like those of any migrant, were not easy. He knows firsthand what it feels like when you can barely afford to live.

"I had to wash dishes, pick up garbage, not have a phone or take the bus, sleep on the floor... just like everyone else," he said. 

A Free Menu

Families like those of Emilio Fortín, who works intermittently as a construction worker and is very anxious about the future of his children at such an uncertain time, come to Las Carnitas. Also Melissa Belis, an unemployed bus driver, who has three children and cares for two more, and to whom Tony Baday's free lunches have brought her out of a great predicament and she is very grateful for the support. 

"Most Latino mothers and fathers have informal jobs. Many women clean houses or work in construction like their husbands, or work in restaurants, so they have to leave their children alone or with the neighbor. Some women who come with eight children to bring the food tell me that their parents are working and she is doing them the favor of taking care of them," said Baday.

While in the first days the restaurant only served about forty meals, now it serves about 150 lunches free of charge to Hispanic families affected by the crisis generated by the coronavirus. 

In addition, Tony offers the usual menus to his customers who can afford them and it is thanks to them that he can continue to put Las Carnitas at the service of his community.

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