Feed the Frontlines Helping Those In Need Initiative is a call-to-action to provide ready-to-eat meals prepared by local Ridgewood restaurants to first responders, community groups and people in need during the Coronavirus pandemic. During the height of the pandemic in Spring 2020, it was an organized way for people to help feed local healthcare workers, first responders and people in need while supporting local restaurants who have been hit hard economically. This initiative earned the team the 2021 NJ Governor’s Jefferson Award for volunteer program in September 2021.
Based on the generosity of the public and the success of the initial program, The HealthBarn Foundation was awarded $1M for 100,000 meals from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s (NJEDA) Sustain and Serve Grant in February 2021 to feed those in need in Ridgewood and in Bergen County. Our mission continued to build momentum to support local restaurants while making sure the most vulnerable populations in Bergen County have delicious, nutritious hot meals on their tables. The incredibly successful program concluded with heavy hearts in June 2021 as our team knew that the hunger need was not resolved for so many. The team received U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer”s Fifth District Hometown Heroes Award in July 2021.
NJEDA announced Phase 2 funding for the Sustain and Serve Grant, and HealthBarn Foundation was awarded $2M for 200,000 meals to continue to keep Feed the Frontlines and Helping Those in Need powered up to keep the local restaurants supported while providing hot, nutritious meals for Bergen County neighbors in need from September 2021 until January 31, 2021.
This initiative is made up of HealthBarn Foundation 501(c)(3), The Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce, Bergen County Food Security Task Force, Bergen Volunteer Center, DoorDash and many volunteers under the leadership of Commissioners Ramon Hache and Tracy Zur. It is a creative solution to help where help is needed. For more details, click here for the press announcement. To volunteer to transport meals, please click here.