How You Can Help Feed the Frontlines

Suzanne Goin and team cooking for frontline workers in partnership with Dine11 | Photo by Jonathan Chu

In these coronavirus days it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by sadness for the sick and their families, for the students robbed of their future, the vulnerable elderly, the financially slammed. Even for our own way of life. To say nothing of what’s closest to our hearts, the restaurants and farmers who feed us every day.

What can we do? For now, enjoy time with family and loved ones—even if it means lots of video chatting. Find joy in being at home. And one of the best prescriptives of all: get out of your bubble—at least in thought—and find a way to help. But where can you start? 

We all know our frontline workers —medical professionals, delivery drivers, cooks, bus drivers, and so many more—are severely stressed and exhausted. They’re hungry too, and badly in need of nourishment. As it happens, Los Angeles is also full of closed restaurants and recently unemployed cooks needing to do what they do best: feed the people.

Following is an evolving list of local people, brands, and institutions we love that have come together to fill a void and make a difference. They need our support, and we’ve provided direct links for those who are able to donate or want to help.

Dine11

The organization, headed up by actress Lola Glaudini and writer Chris Sey, was launched a little over a week ago when Chris’ wife, an emergency room doctor, was telling him about how she and her co-workers did not have the time or resources to have a proper meal in the weeks since the COVID-19 crisis hit. Dine11 is also partnering with Suzanne Goin of The Lucques Group to serve market-driven food from her restaurants a.o.c., Tavern, and Lucques Catering. Suzanne will be including produce from local farmers such as Schaner Family Farms, Weiser Family Farm and the Tehachapi Grain Project as well as breads and cookies from her The Larder Baking Company. The Larder Baking Co and Dine11.org are also partnering together to help feed the frontline workers of LA County area hospitals with a Buy one & Give one promotion online with Tock.

Frontline Foods in partnership with World Central Kitchen

Started by a small group of local moms from a LA public school, Frontline has partnered with World Central Kitchen, the non profit founded by Chef Jose Andres after the earthquake in Haiti. They’ve recently expanded with new chapters in Torrance and South Bay, and deliver 5000 meals to frontline workers at 13 hospitals. The only thing that stops them doing more is how fast they can raise funds. All contributions go through the World Central Kitchen.

Off Their Plate

Started in San Francisco and Boston, this organization has partnered with Malibu Farm Restaurant, Kobunga and Gasolina Cafe to serve staff meals at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Donations are also made through World Central Kitchen.

Few for All

Its name stands for a trio of ingredients—flour, eggs and water—and aims to feed as many people as possible. Originated by Ramzi Budayr of Nomad and Tyler Curtis, most recently of Pilot Restaurant at DTLA’s Hoxton Hotel, it focuses on fresh pasta for those in need. For every amount sold, they match it with a donation to the Los Angeles Food Bank and hospitality workers struggling during this time. The hospitality industry has been decimated with the virus, and the food banks are overwhelmed. If you want to buy pasta or donate, go to their Instagram account: @fewforall.

Sweetgreen

Through their program, Impact Outpost, Sweetgreen delivers free meals to hospital workers and medical personnel on the front lines, to the tune of over 10,000 meals so far. They also plan to work with the new COVID-19 relief sites. If you want to nominate your hospital, do that here.

Pizzana

Home of pizza-pies once loved by none other than Jonathan Gold, this restaurant has been cooking free meals for Los Angeles doctors, nurses and emergency medical workers.  They are in contact with the administration of LA hospitals such as Cedars, Children’s and UCLA to find out which departments have the greatest need. After already personally funding hundreds of meals, they’ve established a GoFundMe campaign to sustain their donations. 

Pressed Juicery 

Committed to donating fresh cold-pressed juices to the medical professionals on the frontlines. They are also “humbled to have the opportunity to help provide on-the-job nutrition to support those who are fighting on all types of front lines including food banks, police officers, & vets to keep us safe.” These include Children's Hospital of Orange County, Malibu Coast Animal Hospitall, UCLA Health, Chidren’s Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles Police Department, West Hills Hospital ER, Los Angeles Food Bank, and Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital.” If you want to nominate more people in need, email: community@pressedjuicery.com

Rossoblu

After starting the Rossoblu Restaurant Relief Program, Chef Steve has been cooking family meals and will distribute grocery kits for their restaurant team. You can donate to the effort here.

Hedley and Bennett

This famous chefware company is manufacturing masks together with Dr. Robert Cho, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at a local children’s hospital. Though non medical-grade, they are designed to be used with a HEPA filter that can be easily ordered from a hardware store. If you want to help, order one here. For every mask purchased, they will donate one to a hospital.

LA Hospital Meals

This organization partners with local restaurants to feed hospital workers, connecting two needs. Both restaurants and hospitals can sign up on their website, or you can donate here. a minimum pledge is $500 which buys meals for 25 hungry healthcare works. Donate here. You can also go to their website to nominate hospitals. 

THE POWER OF 10

D.C. chef and restaurateur Erik Bruner-Yang launched this initiative to relieve restaurants, re-employ staff and feed communities during the COVID-19 crisis. It’s expanded to LA in collaboration with Olympic Medalist Mirai Nagasu, whose family-owned Japanese restaurant Sushi Kiyosuzu will reopen to feed frontline workers and those in need. The idea is to establish an easily scalable model that can be adapted nationwide forcommunity and restaurant relief. With donations starting at $10, local newly-unemployed kitchen workers will get jobs again cooking meals for those in need. The good news is that ten dollars goes far, enough to cover food and labor for one meal. Every ten thousand is also enough to hire ten chefs for a week and buy ingredients for a thousand meals.

Donate here.

If you have a suggestion for this list, please comment below or reach out to edit@ediblela.com.

Comments(3)

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Subtle Crisis Mode

11 months ago

Thhank you for writing this

Katyna Mercenaries

about 4 years ago

Hello, we are a small family Bussines, Fatamorgana Italian Artisan Gelato. We opened our first shop 3 years ago in a studio City and a second one on September of 2019 in Beverly Hills, we never close our doors during the pandemic but even do we had struggled a lot, we donated 400 gelato cups to the Valley Presbyterian Hospital and St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica. Me and my 2 daughters prepared all the cups and brought them. It felt really good doing it.

Taco Hut

about 4 years ago

Hi how do we participate we own 3 restaurants and need to keep our staff employed

We are Taco Hut in Rancho Cucamomga
http://Www.tacohut.biz

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