In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, a Hamden restaurant owner says he’s given away thousands of meals in the last two months.
Darryl Pervis and a small group of friends and family are at Arden House in Hamden, handing out food and kindness.
“Thank you, heroes!” Pervis shouted as he served lunch to the nursing home staff. “Thankful Thursday. Each Thursday this is what we do.”
Darryl owns DPerv’s Top Barbeque in Hamden. While the restaurant is open for weekend takeout, his supporters are making meals on weekdays for special deliveries all over the New Haven area.
“I’m just so grateful that God has allowed me to be a part of something that’s so great with giving back,” said Pervis.
He says he’s delivered 5,000 meals to firefighters in Hamden, correctional officers, nursing homes, and New Haven firefighters. He’s also kept his long-standing weekly donation to the homeless.
“Darryl has been doing this kind of work forever,” State Rep. Robyn Porter said.
“It’s in my heart,” said Pervis. “It’s a gesture of love toward our community when we’re in this pandemic.”
The menu varies. One day there’s chicken and waffles, another it’s BBQ. For this week’s “Thankful Thursday,” it was more like a Sunday dinner.
“[we have] pork chops, rice, and some string beans for them,” said Purvis.
“This means everything,” said April Wali, Director of Admissions of Arden House. “These people coming out to show their support for us, it means everything to us.”
Driven by a grateful heart, Pervis may be one of the hardest working people in town.
“I got up at four o’clock this morning to get this food ready,” he said.
That’s because, at DPERV’s Top BBQ, there are few cooks in the kitchen. He is the original mom and pop shop.
“We don’t have workers, my family comes in.”
He says he’s had trouble getting stimulus money because there’s no staff on his payroll. He’s unsure of the future of his business without federal help.
Right now, he’s relying on volunteers and donations to keep the mission going, because as he says, food makes people happy.