This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORTHPORT, L.I. — There’s no question that restaurants are among the many businesses deeply impacted by the pandemic.

The outbreak has also left many families struggling to make ends meet. Now, one Northport, Long Island resident has come up with a nice way to give back to the community in more ways than one.

After seeing how much COVID-19 has negatively affected local restaurants and families in her Northport neighborhood, Barbara Bolen purchased a gift card at a local restaurant for a family in need. The good deed inspired her to start the charity organization, The Takeout Project.

Here’s how it works. Donors can stop by a local restaurant and purchase a gift card or buy “Northport Dollars” through the Northport Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Then it’s sent to local pantries. And from there, the gift cards are distributed to registered families. While many people support their act of kindness, others question their efforts.

“There is always somebody that gives you a criticism. They think that $50 could go so much further at the grocery store than for one meal. That’s absolutely true. However, you are missing the point. This $50 is both helping to save the restaurant, but it’s also providing a hot, festive meal for people,” Bolen tells PIX11 News.

So far, they’ve raised over $4,000 dollars and helped about 175 registered families. But there’s still more work to be done. They’re hoping that other communities will join their grassroots efforts by starting their own to help struggling restaurants, and families during these difficult times.