Through grassroots efforts, a new nonprofit has grown into a national movement to support local restaurants impacted by the pandemic while feeding our hero healthcare workers. Founded in the Bay Area, Frontline Foods is now active in 46 cities; the local chapter, Frontline Foods San Diego, was started as GoFundMe campaign by San Diego resident Michael Van Sickler, who wanted to find a way to support his wife, an ICU nurse. Sickler connected with local organizers Liza Gurtin and Brett Roggenkamp, and so far the program has raised over $50,000 in donations and partnered with 25 restaurants which have delivered more than 6,000 meals to emergency rooms, ICU’s, and other healthcare units including all locations of UC San Diego Health, Scripps Encinitas, Scripps Green La Jolla, Scripps Memorial, Scripps Mercy Hillcrest, Scripps Mercy Chula Vista, Tri-City Medical Center, and Rady Children’s Hospital.
To qualify for the program, restaurants must be locally-owned and able to provide or arrange for their own delivery. The group also tries to give priority to restaurant requests made by donors, and hopes to expand its reach to fund meals for other critical caretakers in health and human services, hospice, and senior care. The 100% tax-deductible donations to Frontline Foods go through chef José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen nonprofit.
Here’s the list of San Diego eateries currently preparing and delivering meals: Ambrogio15, Big Front Door, Board & Brew, Candor by Giuseppe, CHIKO, Cloak and Petal, Dumpling Inn, El Borrego Inc, GOODONYA, Jo’s Diner, Kettner Exchange, LOLA 55, LuckyBolt, Medina Moroccan Baja Kitchen, Miss B’s Coconut Club, Nomad Donuts, Park 101, Pop Pie Co., Single Fin Surf Grill, Spitfire + Head Lettuce, Supannee House of Thai, Super Cocina, The Huddle, Tribute Pizza, Urban Kitchen Group, andYanni’s Bar & Grill.