After the coronavirus pandemic hit Massachusetts, it didn’t take long for the restaurant industry to spring into action. Even as they’ve suffered their own financial losses and closures, restaurants have delivered meals to health care workers on the front lines, keeping hospital staff fed as they slog through long, grueling days.
While there are plenty of fundraisers and food delivery programs that have emerged from in response to COVID-19, including Pizza vs. Pandemic and Boston-based Off Their Plate, some restaurants are providing diners with the opportunity to purchase meals directly from their kitchens, which will then be delivered to a local hospital or health care center.
If you’re looking for a way to help, check out these restaurants offering meals to health care workers around the city and region.
Cambridge pizzeria (and national chain) &pizza launched a Hero Pie Program, inviting diners to purchase a $10 pizza that will be delivered to a nearby hospital. But they haven’t stopped there: The pizza company has also converted a portion of &pizza’s kitchens into Hero Kitchens, which are dedicated to producing pizza for health care workers with the goal of making over 100,000 pies.
Customers can buy Hero Meals delivered to first responders at a rotating list of hospitals, starting with a $10 meal that includes one regular burrito, one half portion of tortilla chips, housemade salsa, and a bottle of water. Meals can also be bought in quantities of five, 25, and 100. Purchase Hero Meals directly from Anna’s website or via its GoFundMe account.
Sister restaurants Branch Line in Watertown and Shy Bird in Cambridge have combined forces to offer meals to Massachusetts General Hospital’s Emergency Department staff. Head to either restaurant’s online ordering page and you’ll find the option to purchase meals in quantities of one, five, 25, or 100. They’ve also teamed up with Off Their Plate, a Boston-founded grassroots movement that delivers meals to frontline workers, to offer guests the option to purchase Off Their Plate meals through Branch Line and Shy Bird.
Café Bonjour’s Adopt a Doc/Nurse program provides breakfast and lunch options to hospital workers, featuring a meal for two for $20, breakfast pastry and bagel boxes for $60, and lunch wrap boxes for $100. Choose the hospital you’d like the meals to be delivered to, including Brigham & Women’s, Beth Israel Deaconess, and MGH. They’ll even include a handwritten note.
Adopt a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist by purchasing breakfast or lunch through Cafe Landwer, which operates locations in Cleveland Circle and the Fenway. Meals will be sent to the hospital of your choice under your name; orders must be placed by 4 p.m. for next day delivery. Options include pastries for five or 10 people, a light lunch featuring falafel and chicken shawarma pita sandwiches for 10 people, and hot meals like chicken schnitzel and chicken shawarma with rice for 10 people. For every three meals donated, Cafe Landwer will donate a meal as well.
Known for Southern comfort food and live music, this South End hangout is still serving fried chicken, catfish, and cornbread via takeout and delivery. It’s also offering the option to buy one, five, 25, or 100 meals for frontline workers through its online order form. All meals are delivered to Boston Medical Center’s Emergency Department staff.
Farmacy Cafe owner Brian Axelrod wanted to bring healthy food directly to the front lines. So he started Frontline Smoothies, a campaign that delivers vitamin-packed smoothies to health care workers at Beth Israel Deaconess, Tufts Medical Center, and other locations, with the goal of providing smoothies to 500-plus workers each week through June 1. Every $6 donation buys one smoothie in flavors like Protein Pana and Orange Dream.
The esteemed bakery chain is now delivering breakfast and lunch to frontline workers at MGH and Boston Medical Center. Here’s how you can get involved: Purchase a $5 breakfast (one pastry), $10 lunch (a Flour sandwich or salad), or $15 lunch (a Flour sandwich or salad and a treat), and the bakery will deliver it to a hardworking health care professional at either hospital.
Our health care workers need dessert, too. Cue Masshole Donuts: The Arlington-based doughnut shop has a Healthcare Workers Appreciation Dozen option available for purchase online, which currently delivers a dozen doughnuts for $12 to MGH. Co-founder Alex Mansfield hopes to expand the delivery to other hospitals and long-term care facilities; anyone who can help organize contact-free drop-offs should contact him at [email protected].
This local ice cream company started Scoops for Heroes in an effort to bring its creamy dessert to those who could use a few scoops right now. For every $10 donation, New City Microcreamery, which has locations in Cambridge and Hudson, will deliver a pint of liquid nitrogen-spun ice cream to first responders and local hospitals. Deliveries will be scheduled weekly. Donations can be made here.
With a goal of delivering 500 meals per week, Orinoco is asking diners to purchase meals for frontline workers directly on its site or by donating to its Venmo account. The Latin kitchen, with locations in Brookline, Cambridge, and the South End, has partnered with Beth Israel Deaconess, MGH, Tufts Medical Center, and Victory Programs to deliver these meals; any leftover funds will be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank.
Want to donate in a big way? Roxy’s has organized a Feed Our Front Line package that starts at $500, which will supply 50 health care workers at your choice of a hospital or health care center with a hot meal. Delivery is included, and each order will get a shout-out on Roxy’s social media pages.
Our streets may be empty, but we’re still running at full force. The Globe is partnering with local restaurants to serve those working on the front line in the fight against COVID-19. For each $10 contributed, we are enabling local restaurants to provide fresh-made meals to one of the many Boston-area hospitals.