Locally Fed Partners with Cincinnati Restaurants to Provide Food to Those Most Affected By COVID-19

So far, the freshly minted nonprofit has raised more than $5,000 to purchase meals from Cincinnati restaurants and has conducted four food drop-offs

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click to enlarge The team at Mom 'n 'em, who partnered with Locally Fed to give breakfast and coffee to health care workers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital - Photo: facebook.com/Locally-Fed-109760374095265/
Photo: facebook.com/Locally-Fed-109760374095265/
The team at Mom 'n 'em, who partnered with Locally Fed to give breakfast and coffee to health care workers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Locally Fed is a freshly minted Queen City nonprofit with a two-fold mission: to feed the Cincinnatians most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic — including hospital workers, first responders, seniors and those staying in shelters — while simultaneously supporting, or “financially feeding,” local restaurants.

Started by University of Cincinnati students and graduates Madi Rinaldi, Madalyn Norman and Emily Buck, the Locally Fed website launched in May and has been officially accepting donations from both the public and businesses since then.

The trio — who have educational backgrounds in everything from journalism, marketing and economics to communications design — were inspired by the Los Angeles-based initiative Support+Feed, which gives meals from plant-based restaurants in L.A., New York and Philadelphia to marginalized groups and charitable organizations financially squeezed by the pandemic.

“At times like these, you feel almost helpless. I think people are just looking for a way to do something for one another,” says Norman in an email interview. “We're just a group of friends that wanted to help out our city during COVID-19 and we decided to utilize our skills to do so.”

So far, Locally Fed has raised more than $5,000 to purchase meals from Cincinnati restaurants and has conducted four food drop-offs.

They bought 85 meals from Thunderdome Restaurant Group to give to Bethany House Shelter and 45 meals from them to donate to the Ronald McDonald House; they partnered with Mom ‘n ‘em to deliver breakfast and coffee to health care workers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; and served popsicles from Honey Child Artisan Pops to Epic House and Lincoln Crawford Nursing Home. Next, they’ll be serving lunch and coffee from Cream + Sugar in Evanston and popsicles from Honey Child at The Welcome Project in Camp Washington.

The goal is to eventually have enough traction and donations to be able to partner with a different restaurant and organization each week.

click to enlarge Locally Fed Partners with Cincinnati Restaurants to Provide Food to Those Most Affected By COVID-19
Photo: instagram.com/locallyfedincincy

In deciding which restaurants to partner with, Norman says at first they started just reaching out to their favorites or places they knew, but are now being more intentional in their selection.

“Recently, we are focusing on shifting our purview to local restaurants that we may not interact with on a regular basis, like our current campaign for local Black-owned restaurants,” she says. “To us, that campaign is just an introduction to our commitment to creating lasting change within our community."

The GoFundMe they launched for Black-owned restaurants has raised almost all of their $3,000 goal. 

As per the description:

“This campaign will focus solely on supporting Black-owned restaurants in our community. Our initiative fully supports the Black Lives Matter Movement and honors the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless other innocent black men and women who have lost their lives to racism, hatred, and violence. We stand with you.

While we recognize that this campaign cannot attempt to solve the wider systemic problem, and that one campaign is simply not enough, we commit to financially supporting African American restaurant owners in an industry lacking in color and profiting off of gentrification and will continue to support minorities in the food industry. 

All donations will go to purchase meals from said restaurants and deliver them to our donation center partners." 

"As for the organizations that receive the meals, we want to focus on local ones that serve those most vulnerable during this pandemic,” Norman says.

Locally Fed also says it is always open to suggestions for both restaurants and organizations in need that they can support.

When looking to the future and beyond COVID-19, Norman says the goal of Locally Fed is to continue to help the city and the people who inhabit it for as long as possible.

“Right now, we are just focused on the immediate problem and relief we are trying to provide. The future is a bit unclear in terms of how long we will be facing the pandemic and the effects of COVID itself, but a possibility going forward is that the restaurants can use the system we have created in a more self-sufficient manner to continue on without us,” she says. “For now, we are focused on receiving resources to be able to provide more support and fueling growth in our community.”

To learn more about Locally Fed or to donate, visit locallyfedcincy.org.

 

 

 

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