Like many dealership employees across the country, Eddie Cabrera found himself with unexpected free time as the coronavirus ravaged the nation in the spring.
Cabrera's employer, Nick Alexander Imports, trimmed work schedules after business slowed to a crawl in March. The BMW dealership in Los Angeles switched to a one-week-on, one-week-off schedule in the service department.
Cabrera, a service adviser, decided to put his time off to good use.
The 44-year-old Huntington Park native teamed up with a couple of local restaurants to serve meals to thousands of health care and restaurant workers in the largely Hispanic Los Angeles suburb.
As businesses shut down because of shelter-in-place orders, unemployment in the working-class community spiraled.
"I am blessed, I have a healthy family," Cabrera said. "There's people worse off who didn't know where their next meal was going to come from."
For about a couple of months, on his weeks off, Cabrera would fold burritos and put together meal boxes.
"Before we'd open, sometimes the line stretched for two to three blocks" at the restaurants.
In addition to volunteering his time, Cabrera rallied friends and family to donate money. He raised about $3,000 that helped deliver more than 1,000 hot meals and bags of fruit and groceries to needy residents on Cinco de Mayo and Mother's Day.
Even Cabrera's boss, Nick Alexander V, chipped in dollars and effort. The dealer showed up at the Mother's Day event to help hand out food.