Livelihoods saving lives

Livelihoods to Lives, started by Father Judge graduate Brian Fritz, helps move meals from local restaurants to first responders.

Gianni Primavera, owner of Macaroni’s, carries family meals to be delivered to Jefferson Torresdale. LOGAN KRUM/TIMES PHOTO

Brian Fritz graduated Father Judge High School a year before Gianni and Davide Primavera. Fritz became partner at the law firm Fritz and Bianculli while the Primaveras opened Macaroni’s at 9315 Old Bustleton Ave.

So when Fritz launched Livelihoods to Lives, a program designed to move food and supplies from local businesses to front line responders to the COVID-19 pandemic like hospitals and police stations, reaching out to his old Father Judge connections was easy. The Primaveras, down 70 percent of their business because of the pandemic, seized the opportunity to help.

“We’ve been here for 27 years,” Gianni said. “We’re part of this community.”

Last Thursday, Fritz picked up 50 family meals from Macaroni’s to deliver to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital. After that, he stopped at Café Carmella, 2859 Holme Ave., to deliver more meals to officers at Civil Affairs.

Livelihoods to Lives is a self-funded program. Fritz purchases meals from local restaurants to donate them. The program is intended to help keep the restaurants in business while helping the community. In the first three weeks of running Livelihoods to Lives, Fritz and Bianculli have moved more than a thousand meals from local restaurants to first line responders.

“It’s important to continue to support our locally owned restaurants and business during this time while also saying thank you to those who are sacrificing so much for the wellbeing of others,” Fritz said.

Restaurants across Philadelphia and in Jersey have gotten involved, like Scannicchio’s and Oregon Steaks in South Philly and Kitchen Consigliere in Collingswood. Locations that have received help include Magee Rehabilitation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Virtua and Inspira.

Macaroni’s has donated about 250 meals since the pandemic began. The restaurant employs a staff of 40 workers they call their family, and preparing the meals also helps them bring some of them back to work.

“It’s like letting go of family members,” Gianni said. “We’re anticipating bringing everybody back together when this is all over and doing what we did.”••

In three weeks, Macaroni’s has donated 250 meals to first responders via Livelihood for Lives. LOGAN KRUM/TIMES PHOTO