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COVID-Meals Supports Restaurants, Healthcare Workers in Santa Cruz County

food in delivery boxes

(Contributed)

April 15, 2020 — Santa Cruz, CA

Here’s a new way to help local restaurants in Santa Cruz County survive, while at the same time thanking our healthcare workers on the front lines and giving some comfort during the COVID-19 crisis.

Through the website covid-meals.org, you can donate a meal that will be delivered fresh to staff at Santa Cruz County hospitals, health clinics and other facilities. It’s easy and quick, and it’s a way that you can make a difference even as you are sheltering in place.

COVID-Meals started as a recent conversation between two friends who were distressed over how the pandemic was devastating their communities. They offered each other comfort and wondered how they could help.

They agreed that local restaurants had remain alive through the COVID-19 crisis, many of which are closed or barely hanging on by offering takeout food service. Locally-based restaurants are our meeting places, the anchors of cultural life in our communities, where we celebrate, commiserate, and come together.

But the friends also agreed that just ordering takeout themselves didn’t feel like it would have enough impact to really help the restaurants.

A few days later, they talked again, after hearing about an author who paid for 25 meals to be delivered to the ER staff at a Bay Area hospital. And that sparked the idea for COVID-Meals, a way for their friends, colleagues and communities to join together to say “thank you” to medical personnel — by delivering a meal to hard-working people on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

On March 27, the first meals were delivered to Driftwood Health Care Center in Santa Cruz, and soon after meals were delivered to the Emergency Departments at Dominican Hospital and Watsonville Community Hospital.

After that initial success, COVID-Meals is scaling up to provide meals for even more healthcare workers.

COVID-Meals was created to provide an easy way for anyone to help support our local restaurants while saying thank you to local healthcare workers. We hope it makes a difference, and with your help, we’re sure it will.

Simply go to the covid-meals.org website, click on the tab Sponsor Meals, and then follow the instructions to buy a meal for a front line healthcare worker by choosing one of the upcoming deliveries. All proceeds benefit the restaurant and its workers.

You can sponsor one meal, several meals or many meals — it’s up to you.

Restaurants that are involved thus far include Charlie Hong Kong, Real Thai Kitchen, Vasili’s Greek Restaurant, Ambrosia, and Pacific Cookie Co. in Santa Cruz, and Ella’s at the Airport and the Wooden Nickel in Watsonville. Participating facilities include Dominican Hospital, Watsonville Community Hospital, Driftwood Health Care Center and Westwind Memory Care in Santa Cruz, and Salud Para La Gente in Watsonville.

It’s also easy to add restaurants and facilities through the website. For more information or to learn more about volunteer opportunities, go to covid-meals.org or email: admin@covid-meals.org.

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