Walnut Creek pizzeria donating meals to medical workers daily

During the coronavirus pandemic, people may think about how to give back to health care workers on the front lines. For Walnut Creek restaurant owner Rocco Biale, the answer was comfort food.

Biale has owned Rocco’s Ristorante Pizzeria for more than 20 years and said he’s always found ways to donate to those who need it most. For the last couple of weeks, he’s been donating different pasta dishes each day to the intensive care units and emergency rooms at John Muir Medical Center and Kaiser Walnut Creek Medical Center.

Biale said, “It just seemed like the natural thing to do. We’ve been doing it for years so it seemed like the right thing to do.”

His hard working staff prepares 120 meals each day.

“I wouldn’t trade my kitchen staff for any staff in the Bay Area. They have really stepped up their game here.”

— Rocco Biale, Rocco's Ristorante Pizzeria.

It wouldn’t be possible though without the help of the community. Biale created a sign up sheet where people offer their time to pick up the food from Rocco’s and deliver it to the hospitals. There are five delivery slots every day and each slot is booked through the end of April.

“The drivers have been extremely receptive and thankful. They’re looking to do their part also,” said Biale.

Biale said his business is doing well right now because of takeout orders, so he’s grateful he has the means to donate. There are no strings attached to his offer, he said everything is coming out of his own pocket.

He is asking for one thing though, even though Biale’s business is surviving through the shelter in place order, he knows other restaurants are struggling. Biale said in addition to supporting Rocco’s, people should also order from other local restaurants as well.