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Family charity is noticed

The charity of the new Mexican restaurant on East Washington Street, El Korita, has gone viral on Facebook.

The family-owned restaurant has been serving the community in a number of ways in its short time in Suffolk. After being open for just over a month, El Korita has been providing hot meals to the homeless and cold water to those that need it on these hot summer days.

Their good deeds did not go unnoticed.

Molly Harrison and friends visited the new restaurant and, after noticing a homeless woman eating, offered to pay for her meal. With a smile, Linda Pena, the manager and owner’s daughter, said she was already paid for by the restaurant.

Not only did the staff at El Korita make sure the woman had a hot meal, they made sure she was comfortable. Harrison’s post emphasized the respect the family gave her while she was at the restaurant.

Harrison’s post has amassed almost 1,000 reactions, 113 comments and 623 shares since June 30.

The family does not do this for the notoriety or the praise, they told reporter Alex Perry this week. They simply do it because they understand.

Midian Pena, Linda’s mother, said, “At some point, everybody needs help.”

The family understands what it means to struggle. Linda’s parents juggled multiple jobs to provide for their family, and Linda now works multiple jobs to pay for college.

An understanding of this kind of struggle has made them empathetic, and they are doing what they can to help.

The staff at the restaurant put together their own money to make sure they can provide hot meals for the homeless in the area, and their charity extends far past a hot meal.

Every other day the family is going through cases of water because they set out a cooler on the sidewalk, and they have jars filling up by the cash register for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for the hungry this winter.

Places like this are few and far between, but it is exactly what Suffolk needs as a reminder to always be mindful of those in need.