A D.C. charity is working to ensure hospital staffs and first responders don’t have to worry where their next meal will come from during the coronavirus outbreak.
The idea behind the campaign, called Feed The Fight, came to Elena Tompkins after talking to a friend who owns a restaurant.
“They were obviously devastated with the order that restaurants had to shut down, and I was asking how I could help, and he said ‘Well, we need to figure out how we can get some volume,” she said.
Tompkins realized a lot of people who needed meals were at the hospitals. So, she emailed some friends and recommended they buy meals from their favorite restaurants and send them to medical workers.
“Our first couple of days we did between 30 and 50 meals and were feeling pretty good about ourselves,” Tompkins said. “Then the hospitals would call can say, ‘Hey, our ER staff would love a meal. Our residents would love a meal or the night shift would love a meal’. Now, we are in week three and we will be doing on average about 500 meals each day.”
The response from the meal recipients has been very satisfying, Tompkins said.
“They are overwhelmed with gratitude,” Tompkins told WTOP. “They’re exhausted. They’re scared. They’re nervous. And when they walk out and see not only a meal, but a meal from one of our amazing local restaurants, it really shows them how much people are thinking about them, that they are not forgotten, and how much people love and support them.”
The effort started with just a few hospitals, but over the last couple of weeks, the charity expanded to serving meals to 15 hospitals in the DMV. This week, they plan to begin serving first responders, too.
“We want firefighters, police officers, paramedics and other essential health care workers throughout the DMV area to know they have our full support and that we recognize their tremendous contributions to protect and strengthen our community.”
While the campaign boosts the medical community’s morale, Tompkins said it’s an invaluable way to support local businesses.
“The restaurants now have a small sliver of stability knowing a week out that they are gong to be providing ‘x’ number of meals for these hospitals,” Tompkins said. “They’re able to keep some of their line cooks employed, some of their other employees employed to do deliveries.”
Tompkins has partnered with The Community Foundation of Washington, so donations to Feed the Fight are tax deductible.
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