How Top Chefs & Restaurants Are Helping to Feed Those Across NYC During the COVID-19 Pandemic. In good times and in bad, there's always comfort in feeding one another.
The coronavirus continues to alter the way we are living, shopping, and, in many cases, consuming food. Chefs, restaurants, and delivery organizations across the country have been mobilizing to feed healthcare workers on the frontlines of the epidemic, and are accepting donations to be able to continue to do so for as long as needed. Five-star kitchens are opening up shop and scaling up their operations to feed hundreds of hospital employees, and boxes of gourmet meals and fresh produce are being dropped off to those hungry, in need, and doing essential work across the country. Here, the Michelin-star chefs, neighborhood restaurants, and celebrity gourmands are tapping their resources to feed those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 and now you can play a part.
ELEVEN MADISON PARK + RETHINK FOOD NYC
Chef Daniel Humm is leading his team at Eleven Madison Park in a mission to cook meals for New Yorkers and healthcare workers in need. Humm has teamed up with Rethink Food NYC, an organization taking over closed restaurant kitchens in an effort to provide food for as many of those in need as possible. With soup kitchens across the city beginning the close, the organization has been vital to hospital workers, and those across the city typically reliant on donations to stay healthy and fed.
JOSÉ ANDRÉS + WORLD CENTRAL KITCHEN
With his expanding charity, World Central Kitchen, in high demand, José Andrés has turned five of his Washington D.C. restaurants and his NYC outlet, Little Spain at Hudson Yards, into community kitchens. The organization has served over 1 million meals since their urgent pandemic response work began a month ago. Across the country, World Central Kitchen is working with partners to coordinate food deliveries via 160 distribution points, serving over 150,000 safe-packaged, fresh meals (and counting). Now serving nearly 100,000 meals a day, WCK's Chefs for America is responsible for providing meals via 346 restaurants in 567 school districts.
In addition to his food initiatives, Andrés took matters into his own hands when he drove around D.C. last month to dole out more than 13,000 N95 masks to frontline healthcare workers, leftover from WCK's cruise operations mission. With efforts as generous, grand-in-scale, and impressive as these, it's no wonder Andrés was nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize.
On weekdays, Red Rooster is turning their kitchen over to the community to feed those in need via World Central Kitchen. Chef Marcus Samuelsson will lead his team to prepare and distribute these meals in the Harlem community, and you can follow their Instagram for updates and more information.
Also in collaboration with World Central Kitchen, Sweetgreen will serve over 100,000 meals to hospital workers and medical personnel on the front lines. Donations can be made to the Sweetgreen Impact Outpost Fund and 100% will be dedicated to providing more free Sweetgreen meals to healthcare heroes.
BLUE HILL AT STONE BARNS
Farm to...anywhere. Blue Hill at Stone Barns and New York City's Blue Hill restaurant have created the resourcED Hospital Box, which feeds 10 hospital workers. Each box can be donated for $150, and includes prepared food and fresh produce for those working in the healthcare industry.
CITYMEALS ON WHEELS
For those housebound New Yorkers awaiting a meal, an ongoing emergency responder for NYC seniors, Citymeals, plans on delivering 450,000 meals across the boroughs during the pandemic's shelter in place advisory. Citymeals executive director Beth Shapiro has aligned the organization with key players in the culinary community, like Chef Michael White’s Altamarea Group, the Rainbow Room, and chef Thomas Keller.
With a pledge of 10 million free rides and deliveries of food for frontline healthcare workers, seniors, and people in need around the world, Uber is doing its part on the transportation and food fronts. Uber Eats is providing free meals to first responders and healthcare workers in the U.S. and Canada, in coordination with local, state, and provincial governments. The delivery/ride-share app also waived food delivery fees in an effort to support independent restaurant owners and operators during the COVID-19 crisis.
Downtown NYC mainstays like Lil Frankies, Frank, and Supper are delivering pizza and pasta to hospitals around New York City. You too can donate (or request a hospital delivery) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212-420-0040. It's a sure way to put a smile on anyone's face; after all, who doesn't love pizza?
Celebrity chefs, like TV host and Top Chef veteran Carla Hall, have brought our attention to GENYOUth, an initiative that battles food insecurity for young people across the country. With over 123,000 school closures across the nation, 54.8 million students are currently being impacted by the pandemic and forced to learn from home, yet 30 million of those children depend on USDA meal programs at school for lunch, snacks, and more. Currently, GENYOUth has provided $1 million in emergency funding to schools for meal distribution and delivery—but they need more, and you can help.
For those hungry and based in New York City, you can order a pie for yourself and donate a second pizza to a local hospital from Sauce, located on Herald Square and the Lower East Side. What's more, Sauce is matching the orders on donation pizzas, and giving another pie for healthcare workers across NYC for each one donated.
THE GOODS MART
This Soho specialty grocer and convenience store is donating boxes of healthy snacks to the Food Bank for New York, the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, and medical workers at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Mount Sinai hospitals. Regular orders are also possible, and 10% of all proceeds will benefit the Restaurant Workers Community Fund.
Special care packages from cookie queens Connie McDonald and Pam Weekes of Levain Bakery are being delivered to medical professionals all across NYC. You can place a donation order of their insanely delicious and super-sized cookies by ordering through their website or other food delivery platforms. To stay updated on their efforts follow their Instagram.
THE WATSON GROUP
Bushwick's The Wheelhouse and its sister restaurant, Millie’s Cuban Cafe, are feeding hospital workers and raising money to do so, thanks to Daniel Teran, the group's founder and CEO. The eateries are assembling and delivering meals to hospitals around Brooklyn, and to expand the mission, Teran plans to turn his not-yet-open bar in Bushwick, Farewell, into a food bank in the coming weeks.
MARC FORGIONE + TASTE OF TRIBECA
Nothing like a gourmet meal to put a smile on anyone's face, particularly those hard at work in hospitals across the city. The celeb chef and owner of his eponymous restaurant is making meals for hospital workers on the front lines and has partnered with Taste of Tribeca to raise funds to distribute them.
Delivering rice bowls to hospitals as well as women’s and children’s shelters, FIELDTRIP is doing all they can to help those in need in the Harlem area. For every $8 donated to their campaign, FIELDTRIP will match $2, and cover the cost of taxes and delivery fees.