Transcript for Virginia chef serves up meals to families in need in his community
And back here on "Gma" with the ever evolving landscape from school closures to work reductions. Many kids and their families may be missing out on free meals, and a Virginia chef has really come up with something taking matters into his own hands serving up healthy meals to feed families in need in his community. We'll meet him in just a moment, but first let's look at his story. Reporter: Like so many small business owners, chef David guas in Arlington, Virginia, is reducing operations this week. So with his extra time, he is getting creative. This is day one. The one thing I know how to do right now is cook, you know? It's, like, okay. What can I do, and if I can make a big pot of beans and feed some people, that's kind of at its core what this is. Reporter: Serving up a hot meal of bread, beans and rice and fresh fruit for kids and their families in need. The thing for me getting this started was to take care of my team and their kids. They're part of the affected issue. Reporter: Chef gas partnering with local community organizations, real food for kids and fruitful planet to help raise funds to fuel his operation. When school's closed, we thought there would be a big gap. There would be some needs. We want to compliment the great efforts that are going on in our community. Reporter: Over 70 lunches served so far and counting. It's a warm meal providing some much needed comfort. Oh. And that caring chef joins us now in his kitchen on facetime. Good morning. Well, who dat. That's right. You're from New Orleans, man. She's very happy because drew Brees is coming back to the Don't I know it? I got the alert yesterday. We know that you are already in the kitchen. You're getting ready to serve lunch to more people in need in your community, and what has the community's response been to what you are doing? I tell you. Yesterday was kind of our kickoff here in front of the restaurant. We set up outside on the patio. A lot of onlookers honking saying way to go, chef. Keep it up. Coming in asking how they can help because we are still open for grab and go in the restaurant itself. So just heartfelt comments and wanting to give back financially, but also just kind of being cheerleaders, and it goes to show we need all the positive energy we can rite now. It's been amazing. We need you to see that, and you are right there doing that for us. As you know, you are from the New Orleans area. You are a native of that area, and the fact that you helped out in that community, who dat nation after hurricane Katrina, what have you learned since that experience right now? That's when it counts, people are, you know, loving and they're heartfelt and, you know, when there's a crisis, people drop what they're doing, and they just want to help and the difficult part is figuring out what they can do and kind of channeling that. You know, after Katrina's fundraiser they were amazed within three, four, five hours. We sent that money back to Louisiana, and we had everybody on the corner and that was our first real operation where we had to figure things out really quickly, and for me it was about making sandwiches. Today it's about the bread and beans and cooking is all I know how to do right now. We heard this is about helping your family at your restaurant. How were you keeping the spirits so high at such an uncertain time? Well, I can tell you, Michael. Right now we've got Bob Marley on the radio in the background. We're trying to just kind of get through this, showing up every day, you know, I walk in the restaurant at 4:30 in the morning and I make a sheet pan of biscuits and that's how I wake up. I do what's in front of me right we got amazing organizations behind us right now. We obviously partnered with food for kids, and are taking on fund-raising right now. We had our first big donor of $5,000, was a local law firm which is amazing. We're sending everybody to realfoodforkids.org because that's where our fundraiser page is to keep buying the beans and rice so we can keep our staff on payroll here at bayou bakery to feed our local county, and the school kids who have no access to their one free meal a day. That was my main concern. 80% of my staff here have children. How are they going to get their meal? I just -- I mean, and Arlington county is doing so many amazing things. They just can't do it all. We're literally filling the cracks and supplementing what we know they're just not capable of doing at no fault of theirs. And your generous spirit, chef, is contagious. I was reading up on the research the stories that you have told about someone coming in to buy a cookbook and overpaying you for it, and getting the gift card, and saying, give it to someone who needs it. Those gestures mean so much. How can our viewers get That's it. Going to realfoodforkids.org and making a pledge. Locally we're having people just walk into the restaurant saying, how can we help? So, you know, it's just -- we just obviously need the money so we can keep doing this real grassroots initiative that we launched just last Friday, and, you know, it's just so important to us, you know, again. Another local partner was fruitful planet and south block. They're dropping off cases and cases of fresh fruit every day. Not only are we giving red beans and rice, but also a piece of fresh fruit for every child and family that comes by. We're not vetting age or asking them what school they go to. We're not asking them how old they are. It is just, how many do you need for today, and then we're bagging it up and handing it to them. It's been very difficult as you can imagine. I want to hug everyone. These kids are coming up, and you forget. Okay. We got to keep 6 feet and it's just -- oh my god. When I go home, I collapse and I hug my boys and that's about all I can do right now. You are a good southern boy. You just want to hug people. That's right. You do. I'm fighting that same thing too, chef. We're doing what we're supposed to do. Go tigers. Oh. Lsu. Lsu. Go on and on and on. I love it. Bless you. Thank you for the work that you are doing, and everybody there. You take care. We know there are so many -- so many all around the country that are doing something similar. Everybody has resources to give and they're banding together just like the chef. Really helpful to see. It's Gorgeous looking through
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