Meals 4 Heroes: Feeding Healthcare Workers & Keeping Restaurant Employees Working

About two weeks ago, three Upper West Siders launched a new initiative to accomplish two goals: keep healthcare workers well fed, and keep restaurant employees working.

Joel Weingarten, Anna Azvolinsky and Ryall Carroll have started Meals 4 Heroes.

They’ve so far delivered over 2500 healthy meals to various hospitals and are working with 14 NYC restaurants, including Piccolo Cafe, Lucciola, Junzi Kitchen, Harlem Burger Co and Thai Sliders.

Feeding Healthcare Workers NYC

photo by Sage Lau from Thai Sliders

meals 4 heroes nyc

photo by Sage Lau from Thai Sliders

Meals 4 Heroes has recruited a team of eleven volunteers, and shortly after announcing the new project, were able to raise thousands of dollars in donations.

Joel and Ryall are business partners and co-founders of CRSCORE – a college readiness counselor in your pocket app. In addition, the two had previously created another non-profit called doing4others.org. Having already gone through the process of registering as a 501(c)(3) made the creation of this new initiative much easier.

Joel and Anna – a molecular biologist, science journalist and consultant – are married. They have a 16 month old and 5 year old who they’re currently homeschooling.

While working from home one recent day, Anna was organizing a pantry and stumbled upon a box of masks – which she would soon learn were N95 masks.

She reached out to a local parents group who advised her to donate the masks to Mount Sinai West, which lead her to wonder how else she could help. From the conversations Anna had with doctors and nurses, the biggest need they highlighted were good, healthy meals.

So Joel and Ryall – later that night – built the meals4heroes.org website.

The idea is simple: We partner directly with the ER and ICU departments at local NYC hospitals . We receive monetary donations through ‘Meals for Heroes’. The funds are used to purchase individual meals for all of the healthcare workers during a shift (typically between 50 and 200 people) from local restaurants (not national chains). The donations make twice the impact as they help feed our frontline healthcare workers who are in the hospitals around the clock tending to patients and support our local restaurants to help them stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

To make a donation, please visit www.meals4heroes.org (or if you want to write a check, please email checks@doing4others.org for an address).

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