On Fri., March 27, three Pittsburghers launched Feeding the Frontline PGH, a grassroots campaign dedicated to feeding healthcare workers while supporting local restaurants.
Feeding the Frontline originated at a pizzeria in Boston, Mass. With social-distancing practices keeping people in their homes, restaurants were facing a grim future. To aid their city’s food industry and serve those working in healthcare during the coronavirus crisis, the pizza shop created Feeding the Frontline. The concept was simple: Order takeout from local restaurants and deliver the food to hospitals and healthcare workers.
Pittsburgh’s branch is run by Soukaina Eljamri (a 2018 Pitt graduate) and sisters Maddie Taylor (a Shady Side Academy alumni and 2018 Penn State grad) and Claire Taylor (a current Shady Side Academy junior).
“Think about the $5 you would spend on coffee on your way to work, your happy hour brews, your lunch out with a coworker … donate that money to us, and we’ll make sure it gets to those who need it!” reads the description on the fundraiser page. Within days of launching their campaign on GoFundMe, they raised over $3,000.
All of the funds donated to Feeding the Frontline PGH will be used to order and deliver takeout to various health centers across the city. They’ve started with hospitals that are more likely to be treating COVID-19 patients, but plan to expand to a variety of places offering care during the crisis. Currently, the trio — who deliver the food to hospitals personally — is working with healthcare establishments in 11 neighborhoods.
There are only 17 restaurants listed on their GoFundMe page, but the group is open to any and all suggestions. When they hit delivery number 13 (set for this Friday), Feeding the Frontline PGH will have supported 12 local restaurants.
Mineo’s Pizza and La Gourmandine bakery, upon discovering where the takeout order was headed, donated food to the trio’s initial takeout order. Banh Mi & Ti insisted on cutting the order’s cost in half.
“There’s been so many beautiful instances of Pittsburghers coming together over this,” says Maddie Taylor. “I think it’s something about our shared love for food. It’s just really struck a chord. People want to do something, but don’t know what. This has been a really tangible way for people to channel money into restaurants where they would be going anyway, if they could.”
They plan to keep raising money and delivering food as long as they need to. Currently, their GoFundMe campaign is at $4,075, though the three say their total donations are just under $6,000. To donate and learn more, visit their campaign page on gofundme.com or find them on Venmo @feedingthefrontlinepgh.