Feeding Essential Workers, and Putting Restaurants Back to Work

By Sara Aridi.

As the coronavirus outbreak took hold in America last month, volunteers in San Francisco and New York sprang to action to feed overwhelmed health care workers and help struggling local restaurant workers.

Within weeks, similar efforts sprouted elsewhere, and those independent groups decided to come together under the organization Frontline Foods. Its roughly 400 volunteers have since delivered more than 50,000 meals to hospitals in 40 cities.

“It’s been an incredible experience,” said Alexis Perlmutter, one of the Frontline Foods volunteers leading the efforts in Chicago. “This would not be possible without an army of volunteers who are really rolling up their sleeves to solve problems together.”

Frontline Foods is working with World Central Kitchen, a global nonprofit organization that is delivering fresh meals to essential workers and others in need.

Bringing meals to hospitals in a safe and organized fashion can be extremely difficult, said Nate Mook, the chief executive of World Central Kitchen. But World Central Kitchen has the expertise to help. Having served communities ravaged by disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes, it has stepped in to coordinate these separate fund-raising initiatives and offer logistical support amid the pandemic.

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