PRINCETON, N.J., May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The New Jersey Hospital Association has partnered with Frontline Foods, a growing grassroots organization, to feed healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 emergency with locally sourced meals from area restaurants.
"May is 'healthcare heroes' month – we're simultaneously observing national Nurses Week, Hospital Week and Skilled Nursing Care Week. Good food provides comfort and nourishment – and the symbolism of this grassroots effort, mobilizing to support those serving on the front lines, seems very appropriate for all that our healthcare teams have done for New Jersey during the COVID-19 emergency," said Cathy Bennett, NJHA president and CEO.
The Frontline Foods program started organically in multiple cities across the country and recently launched its New Jersey chapter. To date, the program is serving six New Jersey hospitals, and the NJHA and Frontline Foods partnership aims to expand that availability to hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the state.
"The Frontline Foods movement has a two-pronged approach helping two groups greatly impacted by the global pandemic. Our healthcare workers in hospitals and medical centers are on the frontlines battling COVID-19 every day taking care of our loved ones and members of our local community," said Keegan Forte, Frontline Foods New Jersey Chapter lead. "Plus, at the same time, many restaurants across the state are on the brink of closure and have been left with no other choice then to lay off their hardworking staff."
Funded by donations, the local chapters of Frontline Foods identify area restaurants that can supply prepared meals for healthcare workers, enabling them to keep their kitchens open. The program served its first meals to New Jersey's healthcare heroes in late April at Bayshore Medical Center, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, St. Joseph's University Medical Center and Jersey City Medical Center. The NJHA-Frontline Foods partnership will match additional facilities with area restaurants to expand the program to serve more healthcare heroes and support more local restaurants.
Frontline Foods also is working with World Central Kitchen, an international nonprofit relief organization described as "food first responders." It's led by chef José Andrés whose mission is to use the power of food to heal and strengthen communities in times of crisis.
"NJHA's collaboration with Frontline Foods gets to the very heart of community partnerships to promote health and well-being," said Bennett. "It combines the vital importance of healthcare services with food access and employment – all social determinants of health that are part of our mission to improve the health of the people of New Jersey."
NJHA, at www.njha.com, is a not-for-profit trade organization committed to helping its members provide quality, affordable, accessible care to their communities.
Frontline Foods' New Jersey Chapter can be found at https://www.frontlinefoods.org/new-jersey/ to donate or follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
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SOURCE New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA)