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Neighbors and Local Businesses Join Forces to Support Healthcare Workers

Written by Shannon Toliver

As the situation with the coronavirus unfolds, neighbors and local businesses across the country are making an effort to take care of those that are taking care of us. Find inspiration from these neighborhoods that are generously giving back to the healthcare workers that need our help now more than ever. 

The Meal Bridge 

Grey Cohen, a high school sophomore from Atlanta, started an organization called The Meal Bridge to generate business for local restaurants while simultaneously feeding brave healthcare workers. The Meal Bridge provides a way for people to purchase meals from local businesses for hospital workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to a post on her mom’s Nextdoor account, neighbors donated meals for over 60 hospital workers at Emory University Hospital in only three days. Grey has now coordinated over 2,800 meal donations for 7 hospitals across Atlanta.

Cracked and Battered is Open for “Good”

Cracked and Battered recently opened in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco. In this neighborhood where salads and pilates studios are the norm, they were already fighting an uphill battle by opening a storefront to sell fried chicken and waffles. And then the crisis hit. Waleed Hamdan is a full-time nurse and lifelong family member of local San Francisco restaurateurs. He shared on Nextdoor that Cracked and Battered would be offering free meals for healthcare workers. Thanks to his post, there was an amazing turnout of neighbors buying up to 20 meals at a time to show their appreciation for local healthcare workers.

Feed the Front Line 

Sarah Watson, a special education teacher in Houston, created an organization called Feed the Front Line to support hospital workers with fresh food from local restaurants. The goal is to collect donations to purchase food from local restaurants, then find volunteers to deliver the food as free meals to healthcare professionals. Local bakery owner George Joseph connected with Sarah on Nextdoor and they immediately began working together to fill orders. In their first week, the group collected enough to deliver over 1,000 free meals across Houston.


Tracy has been a pastry chef for over 10 years in New York City. Like many of her fellow hospitality workers, she was furloughed when her workplace had to close due to COVID-19. However, Tracy didn’t let the loss of her job stop her from helping others! She decided to #BakeItForward by delivering homemade cookies from her small studio apartment to local healthcare workers at NYU hospital to thank them for their hard work. She shared her recipe and posted about the project on Nextdoor to help fund the ingredients for a successful project. Neighbors donated over $3,000 and Tracy  plans to donate at least half of the money to City Harvest, a local organization that supports neighbors that are food insecure. Read more about #BakeItForward on Good Morning America.

Even when times are tough, these neighbors and local businesses prove that there is always room for generosity. For simple ways to keep your favorite businesses afloat, head to Nextdoor to see which businesses in your neighborhood are open for takeout and delivery or offering gift cards. If you own a local business, visit our Small Business Guide for Coronavirus Relief for tips and resources. 

How can you support our brave healthcare workers? Share your ideas in the comments below!

Note: for up-to-date information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), refer to official sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To connect with your local neighborhood, please login at www.nextdoor.com.

For more like this, follow @Nextdoor on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


    • Hello i am a fundraising specialist with Avon! And how our team chose to give back is by creating a fundraiser to sponsor healthcare workers with bags filled with goods and essentials as a way to say thank you!!


  • Our Battalion 12 CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) under the direction of member Janet Gibson, coordinated a project to bring hot meals to the ER/ICU staff of Olive View Hospital in Sylmar. Local citizens stepped up and donated enough funds to purchase and deliver over 100 hot meals for the night shift.

    • Thank you for doing this David !! May I ask what your Hot Meals consisted of ?? For ideas on how to help our community.

  • Are Nursing Homes / Assisted Living Center staff – included? I have friends and family working the COVID19 wings at their centers – many are lower income positions with limited if any health insurance or recognition & extremely limited protective gear. In spite of all this, these folks head in to care for their patients. ?

  • Thank you for remembering those working in nursing homes, etc. Often they are overlooked and not even mentioned when it comes to “front line ” workers.

  • Just a thought if we could get some of the food banks and nonprofit organization to purchase gift cards from mom and pop restaurant pizza shops bars and distribute them to the public. If they would walk-in and purchase 5000$ worth of gift cards businesses would have a immediate cash infusions. Maybe allow them to stay open.

  • Just a post thanks Dee I am a nurse and it seems that a lot of people flock to the hospitals and forget that we are doing the same as well.

  • I am certified Yoga Instructor/ yoga therapist in Houston/Katy area, Would like to help our community / health care worker that how yoga can helps to relax and be stress free.

  • I am a veteran of the healthcare industry. I trained for, and worked with infectious people on a regular basis. It is part of the job description. Now all the sudden, we are bombarding medical people with all sorts of handouts and bonuses. I appreciate what I used to do for people, and I appreciate what people still do for others. It’s the job you choose. On any given day a healthcare worker could get poked with a needle and get AIDS, but I don’t see people handing out pies to those workers. Thank you to everybody that is allowed to still work, bring home a paycheck, all their benefits, and take care of their families.

    • I don’t think recognizing healthcare workers is a bad thing. You should be recognized, too. Usually, healthcare is overlooked because first-responders get the accolades but doctors ,and nurses especially, do jobs that others don’t have the hearts or stomach for and I am grateful for those of you that choose these professions. Recognition for healthcare professionals should be the rule and not the exception.

  • Country Meat Market has been open through this during normal hours and half the time so busy they can’t even take a lunch.

  • Are the Fire Departments and EMS set up as well? I have heard some of these stations and people are being overlooked and need help.

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