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Frontline Foods Launches in Southwest Florida to Feed the Community’s Frontline Heroes and Support Local Businesses

Fort Myers, FL: ​Today, ​​Frontline Foods​, a national grassroots organization working with restaurants, hospitals and other medical facilities to feed those working on the frontline COVID-19 crisis, announced their launch in Southwest Florida.

Frontline Foods donates healthy meals to hospital clinicians who are working in unprecedented times by partnering with local restaurants that have been devasted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Frontline Foods program started organically in multiple cities across the country; there are now 34 chapters (and growing) powered by over 400 volunteers. Thanks to the support communities, Frontline Foods has raised over $1.6 million, provided more than 50,000 meals to frontline workers and supported over 135 restaurants.

Diana Willis, owner of Jason’s Deli, brought the idea to Lee Health after participating in the program with other Jason’s Deli locations across the country. With the support of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Frontline Foods is now available in Southwest Florida, enabling local restaurants to provide daily meals to Lee Health’s 10 different frontline medical locations treating COVID-19 patients.

“This program is a way to thank our local frontline heroes while at the same time support local businesses,” said Willis. “Our local frontline healthcare staff have made a huge commitment to caring for loved ones with COVID-19 and other illnesses. Additionally, the community is looking for ways to support our local restaurants during this global pandemic and this is a nationally proven model that works.”

To make a tax-deductible donation, with 100 percent going to restaurants providing meals for frontline healthcare workers, visit https://www.frontlinefoods.org/swfl. Any donation, big or small, will make a difference. Donations of $1,000 or more allow donors to request the restaurant they would like to support in the comment section. Otherwise donations will be rotated through the participating restaurants. Unrestricted gifts will be distributed across the participating restaurants.

According to hospital liaison Christin Collins, Lee Health is serving 3,500 meals daily to their frontline staff.

“During the week of March 30, more than 100 restaurants provided meals to Lee Health,” Collins said. “With the Frontline Foods program, we can streamline donations and deliveries from local restaurants and provide a way for philanthropic-minded individuals to help thank our local heroes who are working 24/7 to fight this pandemic in our region. The parents of one the founders of Frontline Foods live in Cape Coral and will be joining us in our efforts.”

Collins added the program will hopefully expand to other regional providers and emergency workers in the future as the momentum increases.

“We are helping to promote this effort and drive our Jason’s Deli customers to donate to it,” said Willis. “We are hoping more restaurants will join us.”

“This program through Frontline Foods is a great collaborative approach to supporting two groups devastated by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation who is helping to promote and support the program. “Healthcare workers across our region and country are putting their lives on the line every day and at the same time hundreds of local restaurants have been forced to shut down and put workers out of jobs. By working with local restaurants to provide food for healthcare workers, the money will be put back into our community while supporting frontline workers with nourishment and a show of solidarity.”

Frontline Foods is partnered with World Central Kitchen, a tax-exempt, registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations will be made and distributed through World Central Kitchen.

For more information, please contact Corinne Wyard at 617.538.8973 or swfl@frontlinefoods.org

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About Frontline Foods

Frontline Foods’ mission is to bring food to healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time supporting restaurants impacted by the crisis. 100% of money raised goes directly to restaurants in communities across the country enabling them to keep their kitchens open to prepare meals for hospitals and other medical facilities. The program is powered by a grassroots network with over 400 volunteers in 32 cities (and growing).

Frontline Foods is partnered with World Central Kitchen, a tax-exempt registered 501 (c) (3) charitable organization and all donations will be made through World Central Kitchen.  All donations made in connection with this project are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.