Oak Grove staff supports Carrabbas in time of need

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Practicing safe social distancing from their cars, Oak Grove Elementary kindergarten teacher Iris Rodriguez and special education vision teacher Carol Parietti arrive at Carrabba’s to pick up their takeout orders in support of restaurant proprietor Benyame Shankute and his staff.

Many local restaurants are facing hardships with the closures of their dining rooms in order to do their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Even though many are offering takeout and delivery options, business is far less than usual, and many are struggling financially.

There are numerous local restaurants that partner with schools throughout the Fayette County Public School System to support students and staff. These partners generously donate their time and services to schools throughout the year, but now schools are giving back to them in their time of need.

Oak Grove Elementary organized an effort to support one of their restaurant partners, Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Peachtree City. On March 26, over 30 staff members ordered takeout from the restaurant, leaving larger than normal tips for the cooks and wait staff.

Principal Felecia Spicer says the effort was all about giving back to proprietor Benyame Shankute and his employees. Shankute provides gift cards for door prizes, and when least expected, shows up with food for the staff. But aside from the food, Spicer says “he and his staff offer true gratefulness and appreciation for the work we do in the school.”

Spicer says Shankute was overwhelmed when she told him what she and her staff were planning. “His gratefulness for our plan was heartwarming. Carrabba’s, like many Fayette County restaurants, are having a tough time. We believe in true partnerships at Oak Grove, and we are excited to give back. It was really a beautiful moment for all involved.”