KITCHENER -- An online initiative has been organizing takeout days for Waterloo neighbourhoods as a way to safely support restaurants in what has been a difficult time for local businesses.

“We just finished up making 250 lunches. We actually had one of the lead volunteers of this group called ‘We're all in this together’ reach out to us,” says Adhavan Thirumaran, owner of Classic Indian .

The social media campaign called ‘We’re all in this together’ began as a way to encourage people to support different restaurants in the region during the pandemic.

“Basically, the way the program works is every Thursday we post on five different Facebook pages with our restaurant of choice that week,” explains organizer Travis Restoule.

Neighbours then place orders from that restaurant as a group and then organize a volunteer delivery driver to pick it up.

“We have a great group of volunteers that help with delivering food,” says Restoule.

Grateful for the support from the community, Thirumaran says his restaurant Classic Indian plans to give back to the community.

“We’re actually giving back a portion of the revenue raised from this to the Waterloo Region Food Bank,” says Thirumaran.

The restaurant will be donating a number of soups to the food bank as a thank you to ‘We’re all in this together.’

“The community has been doing great supporting all the restaurants that we’ve been featuring,” says Restoule. “It’s definitely a great feeling, but the one thing we need to keep in mind, that this is successful because of the many communities and volunteers that support it.”

The group says so far, they’ve been able to put just over $40,000 back into local restaurants since the initiative began.