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Meals For Heroes Started To Boost Health Care Workers, Restaurants

By Jessica Maurer, posted Apr 1, 2020
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal has partnered with a newly created service, Caring to Deliver, to support both local restaurants and health care providers, two groups severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative, Meals for Heroes, aims to raise money to buy meals or gift cards from local restaurants and give them to nominated health care providers, first responders and others on the front lines protecting the community.

The idea was inspired by a similar movement, Feed the Fight, in Washington, D.C.

Prior to the launch of Meals for Heroes, Michele Brouse, founder of Caring to Deliver, said she saw a need for a website to consolidate updated information from restaurants and other service industry businesses providing take-out and delivery services.

With a background in data and analytics, she has built a website that allows business to easily update their current business model, and patrons to go to one site to receive information on what’s available where.

Brouse said the partnership with the Business Journal came about quickly, and in a matter of days, a GoFundMe page was launched for Meals for Heroes. As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the page had raised $11,555, exceeding its $9,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

“We have been blown away by the response and how well this has been received,” Brouse said. “I think this is going to really help both of these industries that have a huge presence in our area.”

In an update posted Tuesday on the Meals for Heroes GoFundMe page, Rob Kaiser, publisher of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, said, "We already have more than two dozen nominations to give meals to health care providers and first responders so we're going to keep the fundraising effort going. There's no shortage of heroes out there we can serve.

"The first meals will be delivered tomorrow [Wednesday] to Cape Fear Clinic by Copper Penny. (By the way, Copper Penny generously offered to donate gift cards to health care workers equal to the amount we spend with them.)"

Brouse is asking that the community nominate health care providers and first responders online. One group will be selected daily throughout the month of April.

While the goal for now is to have a recipient for each day this month, she hopes that with the community’s support, the program will continue beyond that.

Restaurants that wish to have their information posted on Caring to Deliver can do so at caringtodeliver.com.

To support Meals for Heroes, visit its GoFundMe page.

Other partners in the effort include the Wilmington Area-Take Out & Delivery Options Facebook Group, US Foods, Pathfinder Wealth Consulting and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.

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