These Baltimore-area restaurants are letting customers buy meals for front-line workers

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Angeli’s Pizza has delivered at least 1,000 pizzas to six different hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Hospital pictured here. The restaurant has set a goal of providing 10,000 pizzas to health care professionals and other “front line” workers. Photo courtesy of Juniet Ozturk.

With Maryland restaurants closing their dining rooms under state order and shifting to drive-through, curbside pickup and delivery over the past month and a half, some have found ways to feed health care professionals, first responders and other workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

From providing discounts to essential workers, to delivering large meal orders to hospitals and police stations with customer donations, here are some of the businesses paying it forward to essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Feeding the Frontline: A group of Baltimore restaurants have banded together to feed health care professionals and first responders as part of a grassroots effort called “Feeding the Frontline.”

The restaurants write on their website that their workers and hospital staff are both facing a “grim reality.” The former group is having to figure out how to operate while customers cannot dine in, while the latter group is “[risking] their lives to save the lives of our loved ones.”

So they have created a network of restaurants that customers can call or visit online to make a donation that will help feed front-line workers.

“It’s as simple as swapping your regular lunch out with a $10-$20 gift card to feed someone else,” the group wrote.

Participating locations include Mother’s Grille, Alexander’s Tavern, Papi’s Fells Point Taco Joint, Papi’s Hampden Taco Joint, Huck’s American Craft, Wicked Sisters Tavern, Farmacy Cafe & Catering, Pie in the Sky, Cafe Troia, Amiccis of Little Italy, Blue Hill Tavern and C2 Catering Baltimore.

Angeli’s Pizzeria: Angeli’s Pizzeria in Little Italy launched a welfare program to donate 10,000 pizzas to health care professionals and other front-line workers.

So far, they have delivered at least 1,000 pizzas to 30 units across six different hospitals and one fire department.

“Seeing the happy faces and cheerful messages we’ve received thus far makes it all worth it for us. What’s a better pick-me-up than a fresh warm box of worry-free pizza?” co-owner Juniet Ozturk wrote on Facebook.

The pizzeria said they are looking for sponsors and suppliers to donate ingredients so the restaurant can continue its 10,000-pizza mission.

“Any support you give will help us fight another day,” they wrote.

Charles Village Pub and Patio: After the coronavirus forced Charles Village Pub and Patio owner Melony Wagner to lay off dozens of her employees, Wagner’s friends devised a way to keep the business open by feeding front-line workers, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Through the “One Team, One Goal” initiative, customers can donate to CVP to buy a meal for health care workers and first responders.

The Towson restaurant–not to be confused with Charles Village Pub in the Charles Village neighborhood–has already provided more than 3,100 meals to COVID-19 front-line workers, according to CVP’s website.

Donations have helped feed employees at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Lutherville Fire Company, Sheppard Pratt psychiatric hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, Baltimore County Police Department and more.

$50 buys four individual meals or one family meal, $250 buys 20 individual meals or five family meals, and $1,000 buys 80 individual meals or 20 family meals.

Pinehurst Wine Shoppe has also partnered with CVP to feed as many front-line workers as possible, said owner Gordon F. McNamara III.

“We know that we have the best community and customers that surround us every day, and with your help we believe that a goal of $10,000 should be very achievable,” he said.

McNamara said they are aiming to provide 800 meals to the workers at St. Joseph Medical Center, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Sheppard Pratt, Baltimore County Police Department Precinct 6 and Baltimore County Fire Department Station House 1.

“These are the folks that directly help our community on a daily basis. So we ask that you consider donating any amount you’re willing,” McNamara said. “Let’s make sure that these hard working men and women have a wholesome meal while working through this chaotic time.”

SLICE New York Pizza: The Towson spot is providing pizza-making kits and cookie dough to first responders, healthcare workers and teachers.

The effort is being funded by donations from customers and community members through the New York-style pizza restaurant’s “Kits for the Courageous” campaign.

People can even choose where they would like to send the kits, including local police stations, fire departments and hospitals.

Kits include fresh pizza dough, shredded mozzarella cheese, pizza sauce, sliced pepperoni and instructions.

Common Ground Cafe: Common Ground Cafe has launched a donation fund with the goal of “feeding the front-line heroes.”

While placing their order online or by phone, customers can designate a donation to first responders and other essential workers.

The cafe is also taking donations to support the SPCA’s efforts of delivering pet food to the homes of those in need.

“We are in this together and need to help one another,” Michael Krupp, owner of Common Ground Cafe, said in a statement.

Charmington’s Cafe: Customers at Charmington’s Cafe can donate $10, $20, $50, $100 or a value of their choosing to deliver care packages to front-line healthcare workers, as well as help residents who cannot afford groceries.

On Monday, Charmington’s put together 100 lunches for medical staff at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

The cafe has provided several hundred meals for staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital and sent a medical provider care package to a clinic in Cecil County.

Ledo Pizza: The Maryland-based pizza chain with restaurants throughout the Greater Baltimore area has launched its “Pizzas for the Frontline” initiative to donate meals to medical and first responder facilities.

People can donate to workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic through May 31 by visiting One hundred percent of donations from the initiative will be used to send pizza parties to medical staff and first responders, according to Ledo.

“We want to do what we can to support the brave men and women that are working on the frontlines during this pandemic,” said Ledo Pizza president Jamie Beall. “With help from Ledo Pizza fans and partners like Ironmark and Advanced Radiology, we have the ability to say, ‘thank you’ by giving back to these heroes.”

Towson Hot Bagels: All hospital employees and first responders can get 50 percent off their takeout orders from Towson Hot Bagels.

THB customers can also donate to the shop’s #MEAL2HEAL campaign, which is providing bagels to health care providers and first responders.

For each Bagel Box customers purchase, THB is also matching up to $100,000 to provide weekly deliveries and drop-offs to local hospitals and first responders.

If your restaurant or business is paying it forward in some way to health care professionals, first responders and other workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, send an email to [email protected].

Marcus Dieterle

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