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A virtuous excuse to drink cocktails, plus restaurants helping feed health care workers and children

Restaurant news you can use.

The challenge is to make your favorite at-home cocktail and then donate what you would have tipped a bartender to a fund that aids restaurant workers in need.Laurie Swope

Finally, a virtuous excuse to drink cocktails: The Lift Your Spirits challenge asks home drinkers to post a video of themselves making their favorite drink. After sharing (and sipping), they’re encouraged to estimate what they’d normally tip a server or bartender for the very same drink and donate it at www.liftyourspirits.org.

Proceeds benefit the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Employee Relief Fund, which supports restaurant workers who need a financial boost during the coronavirus pandemic. Affected workers can apply for funds toward housing, utilities, groceries, and more at www.rerf.us.

It’s the brainchild of KEEL Vodka founder Bill Dessel, a former New England restaurateur, and former New England Patriot Matt Light. They’ve raised more than $14,000 so far.


So get stirring. Mix your drink and share it with the hashtag #LiftYourSpirits.

Elsewhere throughout the city and beyond, restaurants have been providing meals to health care workers on the front lines, as well as to neighbors in need.

Café Landwer (383 Chestnut Hill Ave. at Beacon Street) started an “adoption” program wherein customers can sponsor breakfast or lunch for a health care worker at the hospital of their choice. Donate at www.landwercafe.com; place an order by 4 p.m. for next-day delivery. A donation of $100 provides 10 hot meals.

Villa Mexico (121 Water St. at Broad Street) is delivering burritos to hospitals in need; visit www.villamexicocafe.us to donate meals to the hospital of your choice. They’re also asking for help to stay in business during the pandemic; donations can also help to support their workforce. Hours are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays.

On Wednesday, April 1, Harvard Gardens (316 Cambridge St. at Grove Street) served free grab-and-go sandwiches, snacks, and drinks to their neighbors at Mass. General as a Feed the Front Lines initiative; this will be a regular offering over the coming months.


Meanwhile, in Quincy, two restaurants are providing free food to hungry residents: Crush Pizza (1250 Hancock St. at Coddington Street ) is offering free slices of pizza for kids. Across the street, Sher-A-Punjab (1237 Hancock St. at Coddington Street) offers free food each afternoon between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Kara Baskin can be reached at kara.baskin@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.