What started as a grassroots response to support local restaurants and essential workers has snowballed into tens of thousands of dollars raised … and there is no sign of slowing down
Feeding Colorado Heroes, a Denver-based volunteer-led organization that set out to feed frontline medical workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak, has fed more than 4,500 healthcare workers and supported 55 restaurants since launching on March 24.
In just six weeks, FCH has raised more than $63,000 through Colorado residents, local businesses and supporters nationwide. The hospitals and healthcare facilities they have served include Denver Health, North Suburban Medical Center, Presbyterian St. Luke’s, Sky Ridge Medical Center, Rose Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, The Medical Center of Aurora, Lutheran Medical Center and Porter Adventist, among others. Orders from independently owned restaurants range from 50–250 meals apiece.
The program was created by Prim Communications, a local public relations agency with a focus on hospitality clients. The agency’s owner, Gretchen TeBockhorst, along with senior account manager, Taylor Shields, have taken active roles in fundraising and scheduling multiple deliveries each day with the restaurants and medical facilities.
“In the beginning we were simply asking ourselves, ‘How can we help?’” explained TeBockhorst. “We created Feeding Colorado Heroes as a way to give back to the community that has supported us throughout the years. Since then, it has been really uplifting to see how many people in Denver and beyond want to help. Even local businesses like Liberty Global and Adelska Date Night have stepped up to donate for the benefit of the hospitals, in addition to Colorado’s independently owned restaurants.”
The organization hopes to continue raising funds in an effort to provide meals to healthcare teams who are expecting a second surge of COVID patients.
“When we speak to many of our contacts at the hospitals, they’re hardly taking a sigh of relief,” said TeBockhorst. “Now that businesses are opening again, many of the hospital teams are expecting to see a new surge of patients, maybe even more than they experienced during the initial surge. We want to be there to support these individuals with nourishing meals if and when that time comes.”
“We have been overwhelmed by the community’s response to healthcare workers during the pandemic,” says Hollie Seeley, interim president and CEO of Rose Medical Center. “Our team truly appreciates the donated meals from Feeding Colorado Heroes. Their generosity has fueled our staff not only physically but emotionally as well.”