By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Want to say thanks to healthcare heroes? You can by making coronavirus donations of food or wellness products to healthcare workers, or by simply sharing this post with health heroes!
Trying to help make a difference in the current COVID-19 outbreak? If you're like me, you've been sitting at home 24/7, overwhelming yourself with reading the news and trying to figure out how you can make a difference right now. With social distancing and school closings in the United States, we're all likely thinking about this COVID-19 pandemic more than ever.
I have no sewing skills. At all. So making masks is out. Early on in the pandemic, I donated protective gear to local organizations, as well as money to Meals on Wheels for older adults. But I wanted to do more.
I realized I know a lot of people in the food and healthcare industries, so I decided to launch Project #ShareFoodNotCovid to help get donations of food to the healthcare heroes who are putting their lives at risk to help treat COVID-19 patients. Read on to see how you can help and also receive help!
By the way, if you're circling back to this page, I've started posting updates on how we're doing with donations each week! Scroll down to the bottom of this post to check them out.
Update as of 7/9/20: We are currently accepting new recipients on a waitlist-only basis. Thanks so much for your interest!
What is Project #ShareFoodNotCovid?
As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I work with a lot of food and wellness companies. I'm also connected with a lot of healthcare workers who are working insanely hard under incredibly risky conditions during this current coronavirus pandemic.
Thus, it only seemed natural to connect any wellness company interested in making donations to these healthcare workers. Enter Project #ShareFoodNotCovid.
How Do You Make a Coronavirus Donation of Food?
If you're a food or wellness brand looking to make a coronavirus donation, simply fill out this Google form. I'll then set you up with U.S.-based healthcare heroes who are working hard and would appreciate these donations.
By the way, I've gotten a few questions about individual people interested in making donations. If you're interested in donating money to a COVID-19 response fund or a gift card to buy food donations for health care workers, let me know and I'll see what I can arrange!
How Do You Receive a Coronavirus Donation of Food?
It's really simple! All you need to do is fill out this Google form with your hospital address and how much product you're looking for.
It would be best to coordinate with the needs other departments at your healthcare facility to request larger shipments of products. So don't be shy; request however many coronavirus food donations you need for your teams!
FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions for Project #ShareFoodNotCovid
Note that I will be updating this section with more answers as the project gets underway!
Q: Can I share this information for COVID-19 donations?
A: Absolutely! The more, the merrier!
Q: Who qualifies as a healthcare worker?
A: Anyone who is working in a healthcare setting during the COVID-19 outbreak is eligible to apply. This program is meant to provide at least small doses of comfort to those people who are putting their lives at risk by working the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, we have nurses, doctors, and registered dietitians who have applied. These health heroes are employed at hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other medical facilities.
Q: Will every healthcare worker who submits his/her info receive coronavirus donations?
A: I sure hope so! While I recognize that not every participating brand will have enough product to make donations to every interested healthcare worker, my aim is to pair up companies looking to donate products to health heroes so that every COVID-19 healthcare workers' team receives at least a few products (and hopefully many more than that!)! Thus far, each healthcare worker requesting donations for his/her facility is receiving donations from a very generous handful of companies!
Q: How does fulfillment of donations work?
A: I will connect brands with healthcare workers seeking donations for their departments. Then, the brand is able to directly fulfill the donations!
Q: How long does it take to receive donations?
A: It depends on the company donating the products, but it can take up to four to six weeks to begin receiving items. This is because the companies have to coordinate with their warehouses to get you the donation items!
Q: What types of products have been donated so far?
A: Here is a list of brands that have amazingly already committed to making donations of food and wellness products! I will continue to update this list as this list of brand offering donations grows. As well, I'll share updates via social media.
- Ark Foods
- Beyond Better Foods
- Bulldog Yoga Online
- California Walnuts
- Caliper CBD
- Clif Bar & Company
- Dr. Schar USA
- Go Raw
- Good Source Foods Chocolate Clusters
- Gundry MD
- Impossible Foods
- La Colombe Coffee
- Lifeway Kefir
- Little Potato Company
- Nature Nate's Raw & Unfiltered Honey
- NOW Foods
- Quest Nutrition
- Sky Valley Foods
- Swerve Sweetener
- Unify Health Labs
Updates on Donations for Healthcare Workers
Check back here often, as I will be posting updates on the evolution of Project #ShareFoodNotCovid!
We have 4,751 healthcare workers receiving donations through Project Share Food Not Covid!
As of today, we have 4,691 healthcare workers receiving donations through Project Share Food Not Covid!
We now have 4,591 healthcare recipients receiving donations through our program. Yay!
Wow, we've made it to week five! We now have 22 amazing brands on board to make donations, and I'm working on securing donations from a few more. And those donations are now going to an incredible 4,541 health heroes at 83 facilities in 15 states!
We are at week four! We've had several brands who newly committed to donating over the last week! So now, we have 18 brands on board (including one that wishes to remain anonymous) committed to making donations to 4,351 healthcare heroes at 81 facilities in 15 states. Woo-hoo!
We're doing so great! Thus far, 15 brands are on board to make donations to 4,221 essential healthcare workers at 79 facilities in 15 states. We have recipients everywhere from Los Angeles to New York City. This program continues to live on because of the amazing donations we're receiving. If you'd like to sign up to donate or receive product, please fill out the Google forms, above.
Wow, we are making amazing progress! Thus far, we have 11 brands signed on to make donations to 2,877 healthcare workers at 60 healthcare centers, in 13 states! We are still looking for new brand sponsors, so if you're a brand and would like to contribute, please fill out the Google form, above.
I've been seeking donations for only a few days, and we amazingly have ten brands on board to provide donations! Today, I coordinated with these brands to provide product 473 healthcare workers at 18 hospitals and healthcare centers, in 11 states! If this is the progress we've seen in just a few days, I can't wait for week two!
What Healthcare Worker Recipients are Saying
"Thank you SO very much for organizing this effort. We all so appreciate it here at Davita. Our group here has loved the cold-brew coffee and Good Source chocolate snacks that we have received. It makes our group feel appreciated during this trying time. As you can imagine, there are so many check points in place for staff and patients to ensure the safety of everyone. A little food and drink really goes a long way to make us feel appreciated and 'keep-going' during this time."
"We are a medium-sized nursing home in Rockaway, NY. We have been hit pretty hard, losing about 25 residents since this started. Currently have 17 residents that are Covid positive. Not sure about the staff. Holding our own. I read about your program and just wanted the staff to know someone is thinking about them."
"My staff work their butts off and really could use the morale boost. For whatever reason, our department has been vastly overlooked as far as recognition from the hospital administration."
"I work in a 150-bed nursing home The staff needs a pick me up. Anything would help. Snacks, beauty items. Don’t forget the nursing homes. We are as essential as the hospitals.
"Thank you so much for organizing this! As a frontline healthcare worker, it is so comforting to know that someone is looking out for us. Greatly appreciated."
"Thank you so very much! Very much looking forward to your donations to support my family of residents, as well as to help my fellow colleagues who are the true warriors in this fight against this deadly disease."
Ways to Help During the Coronavirus Crisis
Here are ways you can help make a difference right now:
- Shelter in place if you have a chronic condition that puts you at risk.
- Sign up a healthcare worker friend for Project Share Food Not Covid.
- Donate to your local food banks.
- Sew masks or other protective equipment.
- Donate to the Red Cross or other nonprofit organizations.
- Participate in blood drives by giving a blood donation.
This blog post was updated in July 2020.
Disclosure: Although NOW Foods is a current client of mine, this is not a sponsored blog post.
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I’d love to hear from you! Do you know a healthcare worker who may benefit from these donations to health heroes? How are you helping to say thank you to health care workers?
Have you fully recovered from a diagnosis of COVID-19? Do you have COVID-19 antibodies?
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