The Feed the Frontlines initiative in Carmel continues to grow. The program has doubled the number of participating restaurants to 14 since the program was announced April 9.
Feed the Frontlines encourages monetary donations from the public to cover meals from local restaurants for hospital employees working to treat COVID-19 patients. The City of Carmel made an initial donation of $10,000 to launch the initiative.
Program coordinator Sue Maki, manager of environmental initiatives and education for Carmel Utilities, said Feed the Frontlines ran smoothly on its launch date of April 10. She said 63 meals will be delivered daily to workers at St. Vincent Carmel and 110 to IU Health North Hospital, the two local hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. At least $1,000 is needed daily to cover costs of the program.
“We asked that the meals go to feed those staff members who will be too busy treating COVID patients to take a break to eat,” said Maki, adding that she expects to deliver additional meals if a surge in new cases occurs.
Three of the restaurants initially listed as part of the program – divvy, Woody’s Library Restaurant and Donatello’s – are owned by two members of the Carmel City Council. Maki said internal discussions on how to launch the program led to the councilors’ restaurants being among the first to sign up.
“We started with Woody’s & Donatello’s as we knew there could be kinks to work out,” Maki said.
To grow the list, organizers consulted with the Carmel Utilities staff member in charge of the Fats, Oils and Grease Control and Pretreatment program, who works directly with local restaurants.
“She knows the restaurant management staff in the Carmel Utilities service area and contacted those restaurants who still are open – not all are – who would have the capability to serve large amounts of individually packaged boxed meals,” Maki said. “There are strict protocols in the requirements of the program that not all restaurants are able to meet, such as the restaurants having to do their own delivery to reduce the likelihood of contamination by third parties.”
Maki said any restaurant within the city limits that meet program requirements may be added to the wait list. She said she expects some restaurants will eventually discontinue their participation because of staffing or other issues, opening up spots for those on the wait list.
“What we don’t want to do is give a restaurant only one day, and that is it,” she said. “That is difficult to staff for and buy takeout supplies.”
As of April 13, participating restaurants are:
- Woody’s Library Restaurant
- Fork + Ale House
- Papa Fattoush
- Joe’s Next Door
- KingCal Kitchen
- Blu Moon Café
- Greek Tony’s
- Greeks Pizzeria (Main Street)
- Greeks Pizzeria (Village of West Clay)
- A Cut Above Catering
- Rosie’s Place
The city is partnering with Rotary Club of Carmel through the Rotary District 6560 Foundation to manage the program. If Feed the Frontlines raises more funds than needed, the Rotary Club of Carmel will use whatever remains to feed the community through local food pantries.
Learn more and donate to the program at carmel.in.gov/live/covid-19-carmel-cares/how-can-i-help/feed-the-frontlines.