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Tandem restaurant hosts last free meal distribution before returning to regular service

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MILWAUKEE (CBS) -- When the pandemic hit, many restaurants were forced to shut down.

But many other restaurants stepped up with free meal programs, including the Tandem restaurant in Milwaukee.

It started making and handing out free meals back on March 18, and it's been a hit ever since.

Other restaurants started pitching in, and they also teamed up with the World Central Kitchen.

"And because they are a foundation that has been paying us for this work, we've taken that money that they've paid us and paid other restaurants in Milwaukee -- about 48 of them -- to help keep their staff in business, to help keep their people comfortable while feeding everyone, so we serve thousands of meals a day here," said owner and chef, Caitlin Cullen. 

The restaurant hosted its last free meal distribution Friday, July 3, as it prepares to open back up as a normal restaurant. 

It teamed up with Feeding America to give out 500 boxes of fresh produce in addition to the 1,000 meals.

About 45,000 meals were handed out in total since March.

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