When Governor Jared Polis first initiated the statewide stay-at-home order to begin March 26, many were concerned with not only how that will continue to affect local businesses but also what that would mean for “essential workers.”
But while the title applies to a wide range of people, it was quickly apparent that those in health care industry are of utmost importance. Many local businesses have also noticed the sacrifices that are being made by these healthcare professionals to keep their community safe. It’s the little gestures like donated meals, significant discounts and meal drop-offs that show serious gratitude while simultaneously boosting moral.
Here are some local food and beverage businesses that are doing their part to contribute to hospitals and medical staff working diligently on the front lines.
The Lowdown: On March 30, the team at Maine Shack donated meals to local healthcare workers at four different locations — Rose Medical Center, Denver Health Medical Center, Saint Joseph Hospital and Kindred Hospital Denver. While keeping to the meaning of Instagram’s most recent hashtag trend —#wegotthisdenver— compassion and gratitude is not only virtually shared but also physically displayed with delicious comfort food drop-offs to those risking their lives for others. Starting April 13, Maine Shack will utilize their certified kitchen to produce weekly meal drop-offs at various hospitals and medical centers in Denver. The menu will include a trio of New England favorites—lobster macaroni and cheese, Maine Shack salad and a blueberry hand pie. To continue these welcomed meal donations, the team at Maine Shack has launched a GoFundMe page. Donations are directly applied to food purchases—continuing the effort to feed frontline healthcare workers at five different local hospitals per week. With every donation made over $25, Maine Shack will give 20% back to the donor in the form of a gift card.
The Lowdown: At this time, Molly’s Spirits is offering a 15% discount for all healthcare professionals. Also, in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the team at Molly’s has launched an e-commerce website —allowing over 14,000 products including beer, wine and spirits to be sold online. After receiving a text or email that the order is ready, guests can pick up the online purchase through curbside pick-up (with valid government issued identification) After seriously long and strenuous hospital shifts, the combination of ordering online with a solid discount can make life a bit more manageable for some healthcare workers.
Feed the Frontlines Boulder
The Lowdown: Feed the Frontlines Boulder was designed in partnership with local community members and the Boulder Community Health Foundation in order to benefit both local restaurants and health care workers. On March 30, the program raised $200,00 with donations from various donors. These donations are designed to keep meals flowing from local restaurants like Blackbelly, Santo, Community Table Kitchen, Japango, Next Door, Salt and Big Red F Restaurant Group for at least 60 days. Additionally, the health system’s Food Services Department has offered its trained staff and facilities to help receive, distribute and store the meals. Donations made here will pay for meals produced and delivered to frontline healthcare workers. Any remaining funds at the end of the program will go to the BCH Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund to help assist BCH staff facing financial challenges as well as supplies, testing and training to fight COVID-19. For more information visit Feed the Frontlines Boulder.
Dos Luces Brewery
The Lowdown: South Broadway’s Dos Luces Brewery has altered its “Buy a Teacher a Beer” program to now include healthcare workers. Directly through the brewery’s online site, you have the ability to buy a growler for yourself and a healthcare professional — similar to the pay it forward trend, your beer can be purchased for a complete stranger or it can be bought for a specific healthcare worker. While curbside pick-up remains the only option, any healthcare worker or teacher that stops by the brewery will get a free beer in return.
The Lowdown: The team at Breckenridge Brewery is partnering with Feeding the Frontline to provide meals from the Farmhouse Restaurant to healthcare workers at Littleton Adventist Hospital. Breckenridge Brewery is encouraging locals to donate $10 to provide meals — each month the team will match up to 250 donations to meet their goal of at least 500 meals per month. Visit the site to learn more and donate. Along with helping feed healthcare professionals, Breckenridge Brewery is donating $1 from every Farmhouse order to the Food Bank of the Rockies.
The Lowdown: Corvus is giving avid coffee drinkers the option to purchase coffee or pastries for hospital workers through its online shop. Each purchase is delivered directly to local hospitals including Denver Health Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, Denver Health paramedics, Porter Adventist Hospital and the Medical Center of Aurora. So far, Corvus has sent coffee to eight entire shifts of more than 300 nurses, doctors, paramedics and lab technicians around Denver through Coffee for Nurses.
The Lowdown: Shift Workspaces has teamed up with Olive and Finch to provide meals to some of Denver’s medical workers and hospital staff. The first delivery is scheduled for April 3 at 10:30 a.m. Saint Joseph Hospital is set to receive 100 meals from Olive and Finch’s Uptown location. Another delivery is set for April 7 at 10:30 a.m. to Denver Health Medical Center. The team at Shift has initially seeded a fund with $2,300 to support frontline responders. The company aims to raise upwards of $50,000, accepting donations to a GoFundMe page. Shift Workspaces plans on teaming up with various restaurants in Denver to provide both breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Lunches for Clinicians
The Lowdown: Lunches for Clinicians is a group of friends from Denver who saw the opportunity to serve frontline healthcare workers. This group accepts donations through a GoFundMe page and turns those funds into meals for various Denver hospitals. As of March 31, the team at Lunches for Clinicians have dropped off 100 meals from Denver Biscuit Company to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital’s dayshift and 100 meals from Bruto to the nightshift.
The Bindery x Frontline Foods Denver
The Lowdown: Frontline Foods Denver is a program that provides meals from local restaurants to frontline medical staff. So far, the local Denver restaurants include— The Bindery, Northside Market and Eatery, Chook Charcoal Kitchen, Denver Brider, Gastamo Restaurant Group and Ohana Island Kitchen. The Bindery delivers 100 meals weekly to the Swedish Medical Center with the help from donations to Frontline Foods Denver. The Bindery also partners with Restaurants For Responders— set to deliver 35 meals to local first responders on Thursday, April 9.
Fuel The Fight Denver
The Lowdown: Fuel The Fight Denver was influenced by a similar fundraiser in Philadelphia supporting local restaurants and healthcare workers. 100% of the money donated to Fuel The Fight Denver’s GoFundMe page is used to purchase meals from local restaurants and deliver them to various Denver hospitals and medical centers—with an average of 50-100 hospital workers fed daily.
Mici Handcrafted Italian
The Lowdown: Mici Handcrafted Italian— known for its strong celebration of family and Italian food has teamed up with various local hospitals to feed frontline workers. The team’s Front-Line Food program delivers free meals to medical workers daily from each Mici location— Denver, Stapleton, Lafayette, Parker and Highlands Ranch. Marissa Miceli, co-owner of Mici, has partnered with various non-profit organizations to facilitate the distribution of handcrafted meals. While Mici is still open for touch-free delivery and curbside pick-up— the team is also offering homemade pizza kits with attached tutorials. Anyone who uploads a photo of their creation to the Mici Facebook Page will get a coupon code for a free small gelato. Along with other families stuck at home—frontline healthcare workers can also take advantage of the family pizza kits.
Denver Feed It Forward
The Lowdown: Denver Feed It Forward is a fundraiser that is helping feed frontline workers with local meals. The team behind this program accepts donations through the designated GoFundMe page and turns those funds into hot meals from local restaurants like Lowry Beer Garden, Rolling Smoke barbecue, the Stanley Marketplace and Stack Subs. This initiative has covered a lot of ground including Denver Health, UCHealth, Saint Joseph’s hospital, the Veteran’s Administration, Children’s Hospital, Rose Medical Center and National Jewish Health.
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
The Lowdown: Denver’s Cook Street School of Culinary Arts is providing meals to feed frontline healthcare workers through SAME Café and Project Angel Heart. In addition, the chefs have created a donation page where people can donate $20 to feed a family of four. All warm meals and pastry items are sent out to local frontline workers including hospital employees, firemen and policemen. After establishing at least 40 meals already delivered— the chefs have partnered with UCHealth’s pulmonology department providing meals each week.