By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Restaurateur Patrick Mulvaney has worked hard to keep his Midtown restaurant Mulvaney’s B & L operating. He lost all his catering during the pandemic and lost two-thirds of his business – then lost two-thirds of his staff.

“Our concern when we closed was what do we do for everyone? How do they get work? Especially those who might not be eligible for unemployment,” he said.

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Not only did he want to keep his remaining staff employed, but he also wanted to bring in work for 40 other restaurants.

So he stepped up and stepped in to coordinate and find funding to feed the community through several programs like Family Meals Sacramento and Great Plates Delivered.

“Seniors are really happy to see us when we drop the food off,” said Greg, who delivers the food.

The programs have now reached over 200,000 school children and have provided meals to 1,100 homebound seniors.

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“It’s been such a big help,” said Derrick Cueva with Binchoyaki Japanese Restaurant. “Patrick is really known around town and I think once he gets working on a project like that, people will come together and work with him.”

Cueva says Mulvaney is a champion for the hospitality industry. Mulvaney is humbled.

“I feel a little beat up at the moment. I don’t know about champion as much as survivor,” Mulvaney said.

A survivor who says serving the public has paid off with the people.

“They were stopping on the street as they were driving by to say “We hear you are feeding people, here’s money,’” he said with a smile. “It changes the way you see the world by sitting here and eating bread – and we know that’s what people want to do, and that’s what we’re going to be focused on moving forward.”

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The City of Sacramento has spent about $14 million on the program this past year, with $5 million going to California-grown food and farmers.