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Dozens of furloughed restaurant workers and their families are to benefit from food hampers thanks to a mammoth fundraising effort by their boss.

Rocks Group owner Alex Grimley has collected a colossal $50,000 to help workers laid off from his two restaurants, Catherine’s Café and Sheer Rocks.

The cash has already paid for four food distribution programmes and the remainder will fund another six, Grimley told Observer.

The money has been raised in a variety of ways including a GoFundMe appeal and – most notable – a charity run when Grimley jogged a 10km stretch of Antigua’s west coast wearing a padded pineapple suit. The latter raised $10,000 alone.

Sixteen of the company’s 70 staff are now back at work but more than 50 are yet to return.

“Each distribution costs around $5,000. We get the food from suppliers and about 50 staff come each time to get a bag,” Grimley explained. “It contains dry goods, frozen food, cans and cleaning supplies and is enough to last a small family for a week.”

Grimley ran the inaugural instalment of the Antigua Pineapple 10K Solo Run on May 30. The quirky feat was the conception of local marketing expert Jackie Ashford, of TwoCrea8.com.

Ashford is encouraging other business owners to follow suit to raise money to help workers who have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Visit the ‘Antigua Pineapple 10K’ Facebook page for details.

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