North Texas Restaurant Owner Donates Meals to Healthcare Workers, First Responders

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North Texas healthcare workers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a year, and for a DFW restaurant owner, the importance of giving back has never been greater.

“There is really nothing more satisfying,” said Tony Nguyen. “We need to give, we need to help, we need to make people smile.”

In the early days of the pandemic, Nguyen donated countless meals to health care and first responders but as the pandemic stretched he said efforts across the region have tailed off. In recent days, he’s restarted an initiative to give back – donating dozens of free meals to those on the frontlines in North Texas.

Among the motivations, is his own personal experience when his parents were hospitalized with COVID-19.

Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?

County health departments have launched waitlists for adults 16 years old and over.

You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:

Waitlist Links: Collin - Search Waitlist | Dallas | Denton | Tarrant

You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.

For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.

“While I was there getting my heart ripped out these people were taking care of my parents the way I wished they would, it was just a blessing,” said Nguyen, who owns a The Halal Guys franchise.

Despite the growing availability of the vaccine, health experts expect cases of COVID-19 to continue in substantial numbers well into the second half of 2021, stretching healthcare resources to their limit.

“They have a servant attitude to begin with, this has been stressful and really does take a toll on them but they continue to do it,” said W. Stephen Love, President/CEO of the DFW Hospital Council.

Nguyen said he plans to continue his efforts as long as there is a need and hopes others will do the same.

“That’s what life is about, just try and be good people,” said Nguyen.

Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows where COVID-19 vaccines have been sent around the state. Click on a marker to find out information about each location. Use the "plus" and "minus" signs below to zoom in and out of the map.

From the Texas DSHS: Availability of COVID-19 vaccines lilsted on this map are based on shipping information and reporting to the DSHS directly by facilities. Please contact providers in advance to confirm vaccination location and hours, that they have vaccine on hand and that you are eligible for vaccination at that site. Not all providers are vaccinating the public or people in all priority groups. Vaccine is available at no charge, regardless of insurance status.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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