By CBSLA Staff

NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) — A local couple who both lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic started their own food business, and now they’re giving back to those hardest hit by COVID-19.

Bilal Rachid and Benai Boyd have also made it a mission to donate hot food to people in their North Hollywood neighborhood experiencing homelessness. (CBSLA)

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“I lost seven of my family members due to COVID,” Leticia, a Chatsworth resident, said.

The grandmother lost seven family members to the virus and is currently raising six foster children between the ages of 4 months and 17 years old.

“I have to put everything aside right now,” she said. “Right now, it’s just to maintain, you know. I can say surviving.”

And while the past 10 months have been filled with grief for the caretaker, a source of hope is now filling her home in the form of food.

“It’s just a way for us to be able to contribute and give back in a therapeutic, but comforting, way,” Benai Boyd said.

Boyd, along with Bilal Rachid, started cooking meals for families affected by the pandemic last March after Rachid, a professional chef, lost his job.

“I started to notice that he was not being able to do his language of love, which is provide, and he started to get really sad and depressed,” Boyd said.

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So the couple turned their pain into action.

After putting a call out on social media, families in need started reaching out. Since March, the couple have made gourmet meals for more than 30 families.

The pair have also made it a mission to donate hot food to people in their North Hollywood neighborhood experiencing homelessness.

“We can comfort people by giving people food,” Boyd said. “Even if it’s for just a second, we can comfort somebody and have them stop thinking or worrying about things and worrying about bills or worrying about rent or worrying about loved ones.”

That support is helping people like Leticia get through a heartbreaking period in her life one meal at a time.

“This is so much blessing,” she said. “I feel so happy.”

The couple has received a few donations, but have mostly funded the effort on their own. They said it was the least they could do for families going through so much.

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Those interested in learning more about the effort can do so online.