The first batch of meals included smoked salmon sandwiches, chicken quinoa bowls, and wedge salad—100 meals to feed four units of healthcare workers at The Christ Hospital in Mt. Auburn.
The early May delivery was part of Feed the Frontlines Cincinnati, a program that connects the struggling hospitality industry with healthcare employees working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic—a win-win scenario when both sectors need support.
Ashley Heidt, bar director, and Brent Oberholzer, partner, of forthcoming Hyde Park restaurant Dear Restaurant & Butchery, are the brains behind the program, which originated in San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado.
That first delivery matched Sacred Beast in Over-the-Rhine with the hospital. The restaurant’s chef-owners Jeremy and Bridget Lieb dropped off individually packaged prepared meals in coolers and boxes to the hospital, which had carts ready to deliver the meals to its employees.
“Sacred Beast had the food packed beautifully,” Heidt says. Safety is imperative when dropping off meals, she says. “Everything is (delivered) outside. Everyone is wearing a mask and kept socially distant.”
Before Heidt and Oberholzer took the program public locally, they first opened it up to their friends and family for donations. In a week they raised $10,000. Then they presented it to the community, and in three weeks of collecting donations, Feed the Frontlines Cincinnati has raised $16,700 for meals to feed employees at The Christ Hospital.
And they’re hoping to raise an additional $50,000 to keep it going. “That way, we can bring on more restaurants and keep delivering more meals to the frontline workers,” Heidt says.
Any leftover funds, Oberholzer says, will be donated to The Christ Hospital and distributed as needed.
“We’re really excited to be a part of this,” Heidt says. “We really wanted to give back and do more, and this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”
Anyone interested in donating to the program can visit the The Christ Hospital website. Restaurants interested in participating should contact Oberholzer at firstname.lastname@example.org.