North County residents launch Feeding Local Heroes
Two North County residents launched an initiative to provide food from local restaurants to some of the local frontline workers handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative, Feeding Local Heroes, allows people to order food from participating restaurants and have it sent to participating hospitals, food banks and related organizations. Similar efforts have been launched in San Diego and throughout the country to help the struggling restaurant industry and to show appreciation to the frontline workers.
“Right now, it’s most relevant because of the pandemic but it’s always going to be relevant in any market at any given time for various reasons, whether it’s a natural disaster or just kindness,” said Bruce Pettibone, who lives in Carlsbad.
The restaurants taking part in the initiative include Board & Brew, Brooklyn Boyz Pizza, Swami’s, Carlsbad Brewing Company, Mike’s BBQ and Hungry Bear Sandwiches. Orders are being delivered to Scripps Encinitas, Palomar Medical Center, Tri-City Medical Center, North County Food Bank and others.
“The kind of reaction we were getting from the recipients was quite emotional,” said Pettibone, adding that some of the people involved have been moved to tears.
He started Feeding Local Heroes with Dave Friedman, who also lives in Carlsbad. The two met in a running group and have been friends for about 10 years. Friedman, who works in tech and education, was laid off from his job at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I said, ‘Well, I’ve got nothing but time on my hands. Rather than feeling sorry for myself, how can I help?’” said Friedman, who started making deliveries.
Pettibone and Friedman said they wanted Feeding Local Heroes to help local, nonchain restaurants that have been struggling over the past several months. The profit margins throughout the restaurant industry have plummeted due to public health orders that forced them to limit service to delivery and takeout in the spring. More recently, restaurants have been able to allow guests to dine-in as long as they’re seated outdoors.
“The response has been overwhelming, both in terms of the restaurants and the recipients,” Friedman said. “It’s just been really gratifying.”
The two said they want to scale their efforts by adding more restaurants and hero organizations. Suggestions for organizations that might be interested can be made on the Feeding Local Heroes website.
“It’s still really meaningful and it feels good to give back to the community, which is something I had always wanted to do but nothing really came to fruition,” said Friedman, who has since gone back to work.
For more information, visit feedinglocalheroes.com.
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