Beirut Explosion Victims Get Support From Lebanese Restaurants in US Struggling Under Weight of Coronavirus

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As New York City restaurants continue to struggle during the coronavirus pandemic, some Lebanese eateries are turning their focus to helping those affected by the massive explosion in Beirut earlier this month. The explosion in the city in Lebanon left at least 220 dead, 7,000 injured and up to half a million displaced from their homes.

Now those with ties to the nation felt obliged to do something even as they endure hardships of their own in the United States.

Chef Philippe Massoud, who owns Manhattan’s Ilili has created a $16 cocktail, the proceeds of which all of the money made will go to charities to help those in his homeland. He's also donated 6% of what his restaurant earns on Sunday brunch.

“You cannot stop being charitable when you are in distress,” he told PIX11 News. “It is these times when your charity matters. If someone gives $5, that takes care of a family for two weeks.”

He has also launched a GoFundMe page to help gather donations to send along. He is aiming to raise $100,000 and thus far has made just over $26,000.

“Immediate action is needed and every dollar counts. If you can't contribute please share this fundraiser with your friends and family. The people of Lebanon need you today more than ever,” he wrote on the page.

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