Photo courtesy of Lori Niehaus
In the midst of the unfolding chaos due to the COVID-19 outbreak, 2014 DGS alum Lori Niehaus has found a way to bring the community together and make a difference by creating Feed the Frontline Chicago, an organization centered around helping local businesses and healthcare workers.
Using donation money, the organization makes large food orders from local businesses, aiming to keep local businesses out of financial squalor. Then, they donate that food to front-line healthcare workers at COVID-19 testing centers, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and firestations who risk their lives to help the sick.
Niehaus started the organization several weeks ago with the goals of creating a “two-fold impact.”
“Our model is centered on creating a two-fold impact from every single dollar donated. That means, in addition to supporting healthcare workers, every donated dollar also supports a local small business owner,” Niehaus said.
Businesses the organization has bought from thus far include Ingram’s Busy Bee Bakery, Cedar Grill, and Alfredo’s Taqueria.
With an average meal cost of $8, it is estimated that Niehaus and her organization have already provided 549 meals for frontline workers in the first two weeks of operation.
Fear of the unknown grips the community, but Niehaus believes that, with the help of Feed the Frontline Chicago, a strong sense of community and camaraderie will be renewed when this crisis is over.
“When [the crisis is over], our community, our country, and our world will emerge from it stronger, awed at the resilience of our friends, our neighbors, and ourselves, and with a renewed understanding of the importance of taking care of one another,” Niehaus said.