SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- It's no secret that Arizona businesses are struggling during the COVID-19 crisis.

But that's not stopping restaurant owner Deirdre Pain from stepping up to help her employees, who are either working less, or had to be let go.

"They know if they need food, they just come here and I will take care of them," said Pain. "I can't pay them, but I can feed them."

And the kindness and caring doesn't stop there.

For the past two months, the owner of Malee's Thai Bistro in Old Town Scottsdale has been sending food boxes to firefighters and healthcare workers at Honor Health's Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center. So far, they've delivered more than 700 meals.

"When we see hospital workers and first responders going to work every day, knowing that they might get sick, or get their family sick, I just want to say thank you," said Pain.

Chryssandra Maestas and her daughter help deliver the meals, and have seen what a difference they make. They've also learned that Pain's daughter is in the hospital battling cancer.

"That is a lot for somebody to deal with, but she has overcome that and still figured out a way to help the community," said Maestas. "I'm just grateful for everything she has done."

Maestas reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to the selfless restaurant owner by giving her $500.

"We are here with Channel 5, and we reached out to them and their Pay it Forward program," said Maestas. "I know it was hard for you laying off employees, but with food boxes and GoFundMe, to feeding the hospital and everything, we just want to say thank you, and we want to give you a $500 gift card as a small token of appreciation."

"Thank you, Channel 5," said Pain. "We can feed a lot more people."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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