BUFFALO, N.Y. — One of the many questions we received at Channel 2 is from Western New Yorkers asking how they can help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's a question Dan Greene, Nicholas Barone, Jonathan Gorczyca and Josh Feine asked themselves when the outbreak came home to Erie County.
"Speaking to health care administrators, we realized that the Hoyt siblings were also working on it, we started collaborating, started bringing adding more people to the team, helping design-build the website," said Greene.
Greene, Barone, Gorczyca and Feine developed the website WNY Feeds the Frontline. The idea is simple — donate money, the money goes to order a meal at a restaurant, the restaurant then brings that meal to a healthcare worker at ECMC, Kaleida Health or Catholic Health.
"A single $10 donation provides in order to a local restaurant that needs more business and lets that business then pull all those donations together and provide dozens if not hundreds of meals to local healthcare workers on the frontlines," Greene said.
WNY Feeds the Frontline partnered with popular restaurants that could keep up with a high demand of orders as donations came in. As of right now Lloyd Taco Factory, Rachel's Mediterranean, Shango, Coco, and The Lunch Box are participating in the effort.
An effort that is not going overlooked by healthcare professionals.
"It's been absolutely amazing," said Dawn Cwierley, manager of public relations at Kenmore Mercy Hospital. "We're definitely in unprecedented and scary times and Buffalo is rising to the occasion, spreading kindness spreading charity, and that is what Buffalo is about."
Since the website went live on March 26 the organization has delivered over 500 meals to healthcare workers. With support from the New Era Foundation, Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, and Paramax Corporation, more meals can be delivered in the interim. But in order for the effort to scale and help hospitals across the broader Western New York region, people are encouraged to donate.
"You can help feed a frontline worker and nurse and hospital staff so that they've got the nourishment they need to do their job as best they can, while simultaneously keeping restaurants working, keeping their employees showing up to work to provide this food," said Greene.
Greene also said they are open to talking with any restaurants, large donors or anyone who wants to aid in the effort while the pandemic is an issue in WNY.
You can donate and learn more about WNY Feeds the Frontline at their website.