If I've seen the nearly daily list released by our local health departments of restaurants where either an employee or a customer has been confirmed to have been in the establishment and has tested positive for coronavirus, then I know you have, too.

98.1 The Hawk logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

If I've seen post after post on social media platforms written by local restaurants informing the public that they need to close for a length of time to sanitize, or that they've, our of concern for employee and public safety, decided to only offer to-go meals, then I know you have, too.

Our locally-owned restaurants are suffering. When inside dining was halted, our restaurants had to find creative ways to offer to-go meals and in some cases, family meal deal specials. And when they've experienced infection whether, through an employee or through a community member, they've had to find a way to pay the bills with little to no income.

Our local restaurants are suffering. These locally-owned restaurants employ our neighbors and give back in a slew of ways to our community. They did before the pandemic and they continue to do so even now in the middle of all the gunk.

Now, it's time for us to give back to them and Rally for Restaurants has come up with a brilliant way to do that, but you and I need to make sure that we are sharing this news with our local restaurant owners.

According to its website, Rally for Restaurants is a "grassroots initiative from restaurant technology providers, public and private companies, restaurant owners and workers, and people everywhere coming together to support the restaurant community in their time of need."

The concept is simple. Buy gift cards to local restaurants. When you purchase a gift certificate to a local restaurant through Rally for Restaurants, their contributing partners will give $1 (up to $250,000) to Toast.org and that will spread the helping hand even further.

Toast.org is all about helping those in the food industry in a variety of ways, including giving to "restaurants in need affected by natural disasters and help the agriculture industry thrive."

You can search Rally for Restaurants by zip code for your favorite restaurant and if you don't see it, it means the restaurant owner has not signed up (for free). You can either submit a request through the Rally for Restaurants website for them to be added or share this link with the owner of your favorite local restaurant.

Five Simple Slow Cooker Meals That Cost $10 or Less

More From 98.1 The Hawk