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  • Oren Hartman

Their Industry in Ruins, Phoenix Chefs and Cooks Provide Free Food Anyway

Other local restaurant operators have taken similar measures.

For one, Oren Hartman of NakedQ has been giving away a torrential stream of food for an independent restaurant owner: 700 pints of chicken soup one day, 1,000 barbecue sandwiches another — more than he sold daily before the virus. Hartman is providing these meals for health care workers, first responders, hospitality workers, delivery drivers, and “anyone who has seriously reduced earnings.”

“I’m in a position to help people,” he says. “I see this as an opportunity to give and to give some of my guys a lifeline.” Hartman is giving away barbecue spaghetti, sending sandwiches to hospitals. His Chandler restaurant has closed, but his Phoenix and Scottsdale locations remain open for takeout and for folks to grab free food. “Anyone who calls me from any organization, I’m going to give them whatever they want,” he says.

He has a restaurant under construction in the west Valley. His sales are down double digits relative to past months. “Every day I keep my restaurant open, I’m losing money,” Hartman says, noting, too, that he’s happy to be open.

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