PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There’s nothing that takes the edge off a crisis like a little comfort. Burgerville is filling that role for many essential businesses during the COVID-19 crisis by providing “burger breaks” to lots of people who’ve had to keep working.

Burgerville, the Pacific Northwest chain of about 40 stores, has had to reduce staffing. But they’ve kept drive-thrus open and also taken on the task of bringing comfort to essential workers in the form of a “Burger Break.”

Hospital workers at Peace Health St. John in Longview got a visit from burger makers at Burgerville earlier this week, part of Burgerville’s new initiative to support people still deemed essential workers.

“Everybody wants comfort and familiarity right now. and nothing really says that like Burgerville,” said the company’s Hillary Barbour.

The “burger breaks” are intended to provide people working with some down time and the comfort of food grown and raised mainly from Northwest growers and ranchers.

The idea of the “burger break” grew out of the experience of many Burgerville customers.

“We’d see doctors, nurses, people on the front lines coming through our drive-thru tired and hungry,” Barbour said. “We wanted to be able to get food out into the community to serve them.”

And in a “we’re all in this together” mode, Burgerville asked its local suppliers to kick in to offset costs associated with the “burger breaks.” They have — and customers have also donated about $10,000 so far. For every burger that money buys, Burgerville will give away 3 burgers to the cause going forward.

Any essential business can request a “burger break.”

There have been 4 so far with more than 30 requests for “burger breaks” scheduled through June.