How You Can Help Feed Our Healthcare Workers

Cedars-Sinai charge nurse Lorraine McPherson works as employees donate blood during a blood drive held in a blood mobile outside Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on March 19, 2020. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Los Angeles and Orange counties rises, hospitals across the region are bracing for hard times -- inadequate testing, a lack of personal protective equipment, a shortage of ventilators and beds. Then there's the human toll. Healthcare workers, exhausted from pulling long shifts, have little time to eat a good meal.

So you don't happen to have 50,000 N95 masks stuffed in your basement. You can help in other ways, perhaps by feeding our frontline workers.

Several restaurants, organizations and individuals throughout Southern California have launched crowdfunding campaigns to support meal deliveries to various hospitals. Some restaurants are also offering discounts or free delivery and take-out to hospital staff.

Here's a starter list. We'll add to it when we can.

NOTE: BE CAREFUL! Con artists don't stop conning because of coronavirus and most crowdfunding sites take a passive approach to rooting out scammers. While campaigns from established organizations and restaurants are likely legit, it's harder to verify campaigns organized by individuals. So if you don't recognize an organization or don't know the person launching a campaign, do some research before donating.

Toasted ham, lettuce and tomato sandwich. (Marco Verch/Flickr Creative Commons)

FUNDRAISERS BY ORGANIZATIONS

Big Sunday

Big Sunday, a Los Angeles-based non-profit known for its annual weekend-long community service event, has begun organizing free meal deliveries for staffers who work the nightshift in the emergency room of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Donate here.

Dine11

Dine11 was started by Lola Glaudini, who began raising funds to help feed employees at Cedars-Sinai. The fundraiser grew into an official non-profit that's now working with local restaurants such as Little Dom's and Ostrich Farm as well as chefs like Josef Centeno of Baco Mercat and Bar Ama, to provide 100 meals, multiple times a week to the staff at Cedars. They are preparing to expand to other hospitals.

Downtown Manhattan Beach

The Downtown Manhattan Beach Business and Professional Association is accepting donations to provide meals for the staff at Little Company of Mary and Torrance Memorial emergency room. They're partnering with Manhattan Beach restaurants, which will provide the food. Donate here.

Feed Hero Nurses

This campaign raises funds to feed nursing units treating COVID-19 patients at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. It plans to expand to other hospitals and has partnered with the charity Random Acts, so the donations are tax-deductible. Donate here.

Help Feed the Frontline LA

Help Feed the Frontline LA started with a small group of local moms, including chef Brooke Williamson of The Tripel, Playa Provisions and Hudson House. It has now partnered with José Andrés's World Central Kitchen to provide free healthy meals to a number of hospitals in the Los Angeles area. Thanks to that partnership, donations are tax-deductible. Donate here.

LA Hospital Meals

LA Hospital Meals is raising funds to feed hospital workers by partnering with local restaurants. Restaurants and hospitals that are interested in participating in the program can sign up on their website. At the moment, the minimum pledge is $500, which provides meals for 25 healthcare workers. Donate here.

Various dishes at The Park's Finest, a restaurant in Historic Filipinotown. (Courtesy of The Park's Finest)

FUNDRAISERS BY RESTAURANTS

Blue Bowl

Blue Bowl Superfoods is crowdfunding to provide superfood bowls to the staff at Children's Hospital of Orange County, St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange and UCI Medical Center. Donate here.
417 S. Main St., Orange.

EATNakedLA

North Hollywood-based meal plan subscription company EATNakedLA is raising funds to send healthy meals to hospitals across Los Angeles and in surrounding counties. Donate here.

Employees Only LA

Employees Only LA was one of the first to start serving free "staff meals" to hospitality industry workers whose livelihood have been affected by the pandemic. Industry workers aren't the only ones who are eligible. Hospital workers can also get one of these free meals with their staff ID. Employees Only gives out 100 meals per day from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Donate here.
7953 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood. 323-536-9045

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop

Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop has been delivering meals to hospital workers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Children's Hospital of Orange County and Hoag Hospital. Donate here.
Multiple locations including: 234 E. 17th St., Costa Mesa. 949-200-3950

The Habit Burger Grill

California-based chain The Habit is sending its fleet of food trucks to provide more than 8,000 free meals to healthcare workers during the coming week. The schedule includes stops at nine hospitals around L.A. and OC, including Anaheim, La Mirada and San Dimas.

Heirloom LA

Matthew Poley and Tara Maxey's catering company, Heirloom LA, has worked with various nonprofits in the past using their own funds. This time, they're seeking donations to support their meal deliveries to the workers and families at the Violence Intervention Program at LAC+USC Medical Center. Donate here by selecting the button "I would like to dedicate this donation" and complete the "In honor of" field with "Heirloom Meal Project."

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme is offering free donuts to healthcare workers every Monday until May 11. Just show your employee badge at the drive-through to receive a free box of a dozen doughnuts.

The Park's Finest

Filipino BBQ spot The Park's Finest has started a project called Feeding the Frontliner, which delivers food to hospitals and fire stations. Donate here. You can also make a request for a donation at that link.
1267 W. Temple St., HiFi. 213-481-2800

Pizzana

Pizzana started giving free meals to L.A. frontline medical workers. As requests keep pouring in, they are seeking donations. Their meal deliveries go to Los Angeles area hospitals including UCLA and Cedars-Sinai. Donate here.
11712 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood. 310-481-7108
460 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood. 310-657-4662

Roaming Hunger

While not technically a restaurant, Roaming Hunger works with a number of food trucks around the country for events and catering. In L.A., they'll be sending one of their partner trucks to provide meals to vulnerable members of the community, first responders, healthcare workers and local non-profits. $6 will provide one hot meal (total donation for 100 meals triggers a food truck to be dispatched). Donate here.

Simms Restaurant Group

Simms Restaurant Group, which includes M.B. Post, Simmzy's and Fishing with Dynamite, among others, has started a project called Feed Our Heroes LA, inspired by founder Mike Simms' wife, who works as an ER doctor at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Donate here.
Multiple locations including:
The Arthur J: 903 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach. 310-878-9620
Tin Roof Bistro: 3500 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Manhattan Beach. 310-939-0900

Slice

Online pizza ordering platform Slice started the Pandemic vs. Pizza campaign, seeking donations to send pizza from independent pizzerias around the country, including Los Angeles, to a hospital, clinic, care center or shelters in need. Donate here. You can also use that link to suggest a hospital or care center that needs pizza relief.

SweetBu Candy

Malibu-based SweetBu Candy is raising funds to deliver sweet treats to hospital workers. While it's not a full meal, it should make someone's day brighter. Donate here.
30745 Pacific Coast Hwy. #13, Malibu. 866-379-3382

TOPO by Kitchen Mouse

TOPO by Kitchen Mouse's crowdfunding campaign was started by a friend of the restaurant who's alss connected to Keck Medical Center at USC. They have raised $600 within their community to send meals to the hospital staff and have now taken their crowdfunding online. Donate here.
5906 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park. 323-474-6184

A grilled cheese sandwich at Melt. (Courtesy of The Melt)

FREEBIES FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Dunkin'

Owners of local Dunkin' franchises have organized coffee and donut drop-offs to hospitals around Southern California. The next one is scheduled for Friday, March 27 at Tarzana Hospital and Mission Hills Kaiser.

The Melt

Grilled cheese specialist The Melt is offering a free meal, up to $15, for medical workers with proof of employment. The company is using sales from other takeout and delivery orders to fund the initiative.
735 S. Figueroa St. (inside Taste Food Hall), downtown L.A. 213-344-4903
665 Spectrum Center Dr., Irvine. 949-954-6621

OC Baking Company

OC Baking Company will give a free loaf of bread to healthcare providers who come in to their store.
1960 N. Glassell Ave., Orange. 714-998-2253

Pressed Juicery

Pressed Juicery has begun sending free cold-pressed juices and shots to CHOC Children's Hospital, UCLA Health and other hospitals. To nominate a hospital to receive free juices, email community@pressedjuicery.com.

Rocco's Neighborhood Pizza

Rocco's Neighborhood Pizza started delivering free pizza to Cedars-Sinai last week. The owners aren't currently fundraising but say they plan to keep up the free delivery once a week and plan to include other hospitals.
6335 Wilshire Blvd., mid-city. 323-655-0058

SocialEats

Santa Monica food hall SocialEats has a few deals for hospital workers. Azulé Taqueria provides a free taco bowl to customers with a hospital ID while Pop's Burgers and Shakes offers a free single burger and fries (choice of Creekstone Farms beef or Impossible Burger). Additionally, there is a 50% off delivery order to hospitals within Santa Monica when ordered through their website with promo code INTHISTOGETHER ($10 minimum order).
1315 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica. 424-317-5429

Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen has started delivering free salads and bowls to hospitals in the cities they serve, including Los Angeles. They're expanding the program. Hospitals interested in free delivery can sign up here.

Starbucks

Starbucks is giving out free drip coffee to frontline workers including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, hospital staff and researchers through May 3.

Spaghetti and meatballs. (Jason Leung/Unsplash)

DISCOUNTS FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

Dave's Chillin' and Grillin'

This Highland Park sandwich spot is offering healthcare workers a $5 take-out meals consisting of a sandwich, chips and water.
5715 N. Figueroa St. #102, Highland Park. 323-490-0988

Farmhouse at Roger's Garden

Farmhouse at Roger's Garden is offering a 25% discount to hospital workers through April.
2301 San Joaquin Hills Rd., Corona Del Mar. 949-640-1415

Insomnia Cookies

Late-night cookie delivery company Insomnia Cookies is taking 25% off orders of at least $10 with the code WELOVEU. They're also donating $1 to the American Red Cross for every 12 cookies sold.

Maddalena Restaurant at San Antonio Winery

Maddalena Restaurant is offering 25% off takeout orders for all healthcare professionals, grocery store employees and delivery drivers. Present your ID or credentials or show up wearing your uniform when picking up your order to get the discount.
737 Lamar St., downtown L.A. 323-223-1401

Paley

Power-lunch destination Paley is offering healthcare workers a 20% discount on all takeout orders. Orders must be called in and proof of employment is required for the discount.
6115 Sunset Blvd., Suite 100, Hollywood. 323-544-9430

The Recess Room

Gastropub The Recess Room is offering 50% off to all restaurant industry and healthcare workers.
18380 Brookhurst St., Fountain Valley. 714-377-0398

Skylight Gardens

Italian restaurant Skylight Gardens is offering a 25% discount for healthcare workers. Show staff ID when ordering.
1139 Glendon Ave., Westwood. 310-824-1818

A colorful salad of lettuce, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, microgreens, avocado, watermelon radish, garbanzo beans, yellow bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. (Anna Pelzer/Unsplash)

BUY A MEAL, GET A MEAL DONATED

Gasolina Cafe

At Gasolina Cafe, customers can opt to buy a meal for $12 for an emergency room worker at hospitals across the San Fernando Valley. They are currently working to deliver meals to Kaiser Woodland Hills and West Hills Hospital. Meals for the healthcare workers can be ordered here.
21150 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills. 818-914-4033

Hopdoddy

Hopdoddy at The Point is doing a "buy a burger, give a burger" campaign. Order a burger online with promo code "Buy1Give1" and they'll coordinate hands-free burger drop-offs with local hospitals. Valid only at The Point in El Segundo location.
830 South Pacific Coast Hwy. Blvd., Suite 116, El Segundo. 310-414-2337

Lazy Dog

Lazy Dog is offering two different family meals for takeout, and for each one ordered, the restaurant will donate a meal to an organization in the community. The restaurant has dropped off meals to St. Joseph's Hospital of Orange. Purchase a family meal here. Nominate an organization that may need meal donations by emailing community@lazydogrestaurants.com.
Multiple locations including:
1623 West Katella Ave., Orange. (714) 769-7020
3525 West Carson St., Torrance. (310) 921-6080

(Court Cook/Unsplash)

FUNDRAISERS BY INDIVIDUALS

(LAist has NOT vetted these campaigns.)

Senkosal Uy and his family started crowdfunding to order food from local restaurants to send to ER and ICU workers around Los Angeles and Orange County. They have sent meals to West Anaheim ER. Donate here.

Started by the seventh-grade son of a critical care physician, this campaign raises funds to send meals to healthcare workers who have fallen ill and are under quarantine. Donate here.

Organized by Susan Lee, this campaign sends a healthy meal to ER workers from a local restaurant. Donate here

The Transfer Student Community at USC is fundraising to send meals to Emergency Room staff at L.A. County hospitals. As a bonus, the students are also doing one pushup for every dollar donated. Way to stay healthy. Donate here.

Art consultant Beth Pickens has been crowdfunding using her Venmo and ordering meals from Highland Park's HomeState to be delivered to hospital and grocery store workers as well as homeless people. Donate via Venmo at @bethpickens1979.