In times of crisis, local businesses are stepping up to help those on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last week, Recipe and Renegade Catering teamed up to recruit local restaurants who banded together to produce meals for healthcare workers at Providence Newberg Medical Center.
Most of the proceeds from the meals – which were heavily discounted and sold to the hospital or just donated for free – will go to the Yamhill County Action Partnership (YCAP); the remainder of the proceeds will go to restaurant workers in need.
"With the restaurants slowing down because of the coronavirus, a lot of chefs didn't have much to do," Nick Bell, chef and partner at Renegade Catering, said. "A lot of them were emailing each other and I have some contacts at the hospital. They thought it would be pretty uplifting for the workers if they got some food and we were able to put together reasonably-priced options."
Bell said the money donated to local restaurant employees will be crucial with so many out of work during the pandemic. One of his close friends is out of work and has a baby on the way in the next two weeks, so it is people like him that will benefit from this. Renegade Catering didn't take a dime from the effort and the money raised flowed back into the community.
One of the biggest benefits of doing this was providing a much-needed, tasty meal to healthcare workers as their jobs become more strenuous and demanding during the COVID-19 outbreak. Longer hours and high-stress situations are becoming all the more prevalent as the disease makes its way into the Chehalem Valley.
Recipe provided the staging area and helped organize the event along with Renegade. Local businesses that donated or provided food include The Dundee Bistro, Rosmarino Osteria Italiana, Nick's Italian Café, Trellis Dundee, The Newbergundian Bistro, Ray's Produce, Newberg Northwest Premier Meats and Mustard Seed Farms.
The plan is to do this on a weekly basis going forward, Bell said, so long as local restaurants are willing to unite for a cause that benefits everyone. He expects that will be the case regardless of how severe the pandemic gets.
"This is what restaurants do for each other and for their community anyways," Bell said. "We didn't donate as much as all these restaurants, we just provided the facilitation and staging of everything while organizing this event. The shout out should go to all these local businesses giving back and straight up donating food.
"This is an opportunity to stay afloat during this crisis for the restaurants and help out the people working in healthcare. It's a win-win for the community."
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