ST. LOUIS ( -- A dozen restaurants on the Delmar Loop are turning a negative into a positive. Because of the ban on indoor dining at restaurants in St. Louis, University City has created a web page to make it easier for ordering carry-out from restaurants on The Loop. And in the process, customers can also buy a meal for a nurse or doctor treating COVID-19 patients at local hospitals.

"We wanted to make it as simple as possible for people to find the menus and place orders. And you can order for yourself or donate them. And it puts it all in one simple place for you to find the information," said Mohammed Qadadeh who owns American Felafel restaurant in the 6300 block of Delmar Boulevard.

Qadedeh opened his restaurant in June and came up with the idea to "pay it forward."

"Who opens a restaurant during a pandemic? He did and he came up with this idea. And I admire him for it. It shows the caliber of the people who open businesses in the loop," said Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill and the unofficial mayor of The Delmar Loop.

When a customer who's ordering food from one of the 12 restaurants gets to the step to checkout, some restaurants have set up a specific meal from the menu that customers can choose to donate. Other restaurants allow customers to enter a specific dollar amount to be used toward meals for healthcare workers.

The first set of "pay it forward" meals for frontline workers are scheduled to go to SSM Saint Mary's Hospital. A spokesperson for SSM Health issued this statement of gratitude:

“We are honored our community is recognizing the incredible sacrifice our frontline workers are making, helping our community in their time of need. Our teams are exceptional and we hope they enjoy this generous gift.”

The meals for frontline workers will be delivered twice a week until the ban on indoor dining in St. Louis County ends.

Click here to go to the "pay it forward" website for ordering.

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