Hospital workers battling the coronavirus outbreak deserve our deepest gratitude — and what could be a more New Orleans way to show that than through food?
The Krewe of Red Beans has launched an ambitious plan to feed health care workers for free as a gesture of thanks, one that also aims to keep New Orleans restaurants afloat and employ out-of-work musicians.
Devin De Wulf, the founder of the Krewe of Red Beans, got the idea from his wife, an emergency room doctor in the city. She’d been coming home with stories of the struggles that health care workers face right now simply doing their job while staying safe. One day she told him about how a woman had brought in cookies for everyone, and it instantly boosted morale.
“I know all these restaurants because of our charity Red Beans tournament, and I know that they're struggling right now,” De Wulf said. He figured he could put two and two together. “And maybe we could raise money to get food delivered to the hospital staff and that way, we're creating business for the restaurants.”
De Wulf launched a GoFundMe campaign on March 17, and it’s already raised more than $22,000. On Monday, the krewe sent 1,000 meals to 12 different emergency room and intensive care units in the city that are caring for COVID-19 patients.
Participating restaurants include Capulet, Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA, Laurel Street Bakery and Cake Cafe. And De Wulf has hired out-of-work musicians to deliver the food.
He said frontline hospital workers have been grateful.
“They're just so appreciative because for some of them, it's the first time they've eaten today,” he said. “And they're working so hard fighting COVID and trying to save lives.”
The goal is to keep the fund going for as long as the coronavirus crisis lasts.
“This is just a way to show that love through food,” De Wulf said. “I think in a time like this, love is what we need.”
You can donate through the GoFundMe page, or by sending a Venmo payment to @redbeansparade or a paypal donation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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