The year of 2020 has proven to be the year of death destruction and devastation for so many. Businesses abruptly shut down, the economy has gone into irreversible devastation and many families faced destruction from the virus that took the world by storm. Many communities rallied together and thought of meaningful ways to help others. Take out food became comforting and meaningful as families tried to help restaurants stay in business.
Long Island was hit hard; the city crowds that flocked to their vacation homes brought in thousands of covid cases a day. Long Island is home to many great celebrities who put forth efforts to help local businesses and people not go hungry. With so many celebrities who call Long Island home, a former television star, restaurant owner, and Chef. Joseph Ganniscoli from the hit show Sopranos resides in East Rockaway, New York and went the extra mile.
Before covid hit hard Joseph smoked cigars down by a marina area in his hometown, golfed and spent time with his beautiful wife and daughter. He also had a thriving business where he would cook for private parties and make anywhere from $2500-$5000 a night cooking and entertaining. Unfortunately, that stopped temporarily. With someone so passionate about food and fun and having a true love for people; Mr. Ganniscoli decided to make it his mission to help small businesses and feed the front line workers who deserved it the most. With family working at two major hospitals in New York and an aunt who was 104 during the mist of the covid; Joseph felt it was his responsibility to help his community.
With his extensive connections in the restaurant industry and monthly local cameo appearances across Long island, Joseph got created a go fund me page where he started with a goal of humble sum of $1,000. Within days people donated money and the amount grew swell to $30,000. The plan was simple take the money, support local restaurants and get takeout and feed the front line workers. He appreciated the hundreds of donations but working with Vincent’s Clam bar in Carle Place New York, and Villa Maria in East Rockaway New York were his favorite; they always gave more sometimes a $1,000 check would be $500 or less.
But this veteran actor didn’t want just sandwiches in a bag and anyone who knows him knows “Go big or go home” is a phrase he lives by. What sets Mr. Ganiscoli aside was his determination to not only get EMTS, hospital staff, fire houses, and police stations, the meals they deserved; but hot meals. Everything from Chicken dishes, Veal Milanese, to rice, and pasta was served and delivered 2-3 times a day; 6 days a week. He started at 6am and sometimes wouldn’t come home until the evening but always had a smile on his face
Joseph is currently back to golfing and enjoying life in his seaside town of East Rockaway, New York. When asked what will he do if there is a second wave is answer was “I’ll pack the car up and do what I have to”.