HospitalityMaine Education Foundation is pleased to announce that Smitty's Cinema in Windham and Rustica Cucina Italiana in Rockland are the premiere recipients of the Maine Restaurant Relief Fund.
During a livecast at O'Maine Studios in Portland Sunday, the grantees (pictured above) were announced and Zoomed in to accept the financial boost. Both operations will receive $5,000 to help rebuild and restore their distressed businesses.
“Every little bit helps,” said an emotional John Stowe, owner of Rustica, who was choked up by the unexpected windfall.
Albert Waitt of Smitty's said his cinema/dining hybrid was hit hard by the pandemic. The funds "allows us to provide PPE for staff," he explained.
While donations streamed in during the live fundraiser, a bulk of the grants are made possible thanks to Hannaford, Bangor Savings Bank, Cross Insurance and Oakhurst.
There is still time to apply or donate here. More recipients will be announced next week. Grantees are randomly chosen. Not all who apply will receive a grant.
Watch Sunday's episode on comfort food below: