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May 21, 2020

Philadelphia’s son starts 'Livelihood to Lives'

Brian Fritz’s program has purchased over 4,500 meals to help locally-owned restaurants and donates them to local frontline workers

Business Philanthropy

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Limited - Fritz & Bianculli - Philadelphia 15th district thank Macaronis Courtesy of/Fritz & Bianculli

Philadelphia's 15th District thanking Macaroni's.

Brian Fritz knew he had to do something for the people in the Philadelphia region when the COVID-19 pandemic forced a shutdown that put virtually every locally-owned business in danger of closing for good and our frontline workers in harm’s way.

Fritz is a lifetime Philadelphian and cares for the people of this region unlike any other. He grew up in the Northeast section of the city, graduated from Father Judge High School, and after attending Penn State and getting his law degree from Widener, returned to Philadelphia to practice law. He knows firsthand the hard work people do in this region every day to succeed because he lived it when building his law firm, Fritz and Bianculli.

“Philadelphia and the surrounding region have always been home,” said Fritz, who is a partner at Fritz and Bianculli, which has offices in Center City, the Northeast, South Philly and New Jersey that specialize in personal injury, criminal, family and immigration law. “We are neighborhood people helping neighborhood people. We were born here, raised here, and are still here – no matter what.”

As the stay-at-home orders were handed down by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in March, it only took Fritz hours to formulate a plan to support local restaurants and thank the people who were rolling up their sleeves and caring for the sick. Both of these groups are the heart and soul of Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Blue collar, kick-ass individuals who encapsulate everything this city stands for were being suffocated by the pandemic.

What Fritz did in response was something special. He started Livelihood to Lives, a program that purchases meals from locally-owned restaurants and donates those meals to front-line workers. Others have done likewise, but Fritz, who is self-funding the program, has taken it to an entirely new level. He has bought over 4,500 meals with a pace to buy over 1,300 per week from more than 20 locally-owned restaurants, making over 100 deliveries to area hospitals and police stations since starting the program in the beginning of April. In May, the popularity of the program reached outside the region as Fritz launched Livelihood to Lives in Los Angeles, CA, Cleveland, OH, and Boca Raton, FL.

Limited - Fritz & Bianculli Nazareth Hospital thanking Three Monkeys Cafe

Frontline workers from Nazareth Hospital thanking Three Monkeys Cafe.

“Our region’s local restaurant owners are going through tough times as we battle this pandemic,” said Fritz, whose law firm continues to operate from home by helping individuals who are in need of legal counsel. “Purchasing meals and supplying them to all the great doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and first responder personnel, who put their lives on the line every day to make sure we stay or get healthy is the least I could do.”

The impact the Livelihood to Lives program has had on locally-owned restaurants is immeasurable, just ask Fritz’s high school friends John and Davide Primavera, owners of Macaroni’s located at 9315 Old Bustleton Ave.

Limited - Fritz & Bianculli - Macaroni's Staff

The staff from Macaroni's.

“We’ve been in the community for 27 years,” said Davide Primavera. “We don’t only worry about the pandemic and our business, but about our workers, a lot of those people have been with us for a long time. We want to get them back and operating like we have in the past. What Brian is doing is helping us get through this and we are excited to be taking part in this special program with him.”

Other restaurant owners were equally excited to be asked to be a part of Livelihood to Lives.

“When we got the call from Fritz and Bianculli that they wanted to come here, purchase food and donate to the workers on the frontline, that was the best phone call we got in a long time,” said Joey Fabrizzio, owner of Di’Nics Roast Pork & Beef in Mount Ephraim, NJ.

Limited - Fritz & Bianculli Jefferson thanks Dinics

Frontline workers from Jefferson thanking Di'nics.

“We’re ecstatic to help the frontline workers,” added Rita Marrone of Frankie’s Fellini Café in Berwyn, PA. “They are putting their lives at risk every day for us. We want to do whatever we can. Hopefully they keep safe.”

Fritz has captured the positive effect Livelihood to Lives has had on both the restaurant owners and frontline responders with this video and continues to share these exchanges on the Fritz and Bianculli’s Facebook page.

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