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 Fuel the Front Line
Support Local Restaurants + Local Frontline Medical Workers + First Responders
Lauren Grove (19) | Encinitas

Lauren is a Stanford student back home engaged in distant learning and joining her parents’ noble efforts during this time of crisis.

On March 26th, Jen Grove (my mom) received an email from a local resident about a program in Washington DC called Feed the Fight. Jen was immediately inspired: it was a perfect program to help local businesses while also supporting medical frontline workers in the San Diego area.

It all began as a family affair. As Executive Director of the Del Mar Village Association (DMVA), a non-profit that supports the Del Mar business community, Jen already had connections with local restaurant owners. Jen’s husband, Doug Grove (my dad), is a physician and medical director at Scripps Carmel Valley, with local hospital contacts. Jen’s three daughters (including me) were all isolated at home, providing a perfect team to develop the online channels. The elements all steadily fell into place.

On April 2nd, DMVA spearheaded Fuel the Frontline San Diego with the help of the entire Grove family. Our goal was to help local mom-and-pop restaurants bring in enough money to survive during the COVID-19 social distancing orders, while fueling local hospitals and first responders. There are three elements to the program: 1) Donations through Go Fund Me, where each $25 fuels 1-3 medical providers and $1,000 fuels an entire ER/ICU department; 2) Organize local restaurants and purchase the food; and 3) Follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) health safety requirements to directly deliver meals to hospitals.

The response has been overwhelming. Fuel the Frontline has over $56,000 in donations from 184 donors, including a matching grant of $25,000 from Carol and Richard Hertzberg, and generous donations from others in the local community including Walter J. & Betty C. Zable, the Del Mar Foundation, Gary & Jerri-Ann Jacobs and Marc & Patty Brutten. We have partnered with over 12 Del Mar restaurants, 6 hospitals, as well as local first responders. We’ve been able to deliver over 1,000 meals per week, completely transcending our expected impact of this program.

Since our first delivery, it became clear that Fuel the Frontline does much more than provide meals to hungry medical workers. Fuel the Frontline is offering hope for small business owners, hope that our local community can, and will, fight through these difficult times. Fuel the Frontline is letting frontline medical workers and first responders know that our community sees their hard work. We recognize how difficult it must be to work in a dangerous environment every day, putting their health at risk in order to save others. Andy Myerson, a Physician’s Assistant at Scripps Carmel Valley, says Fuel the Frontline has allowed him to concentrate on his job of helping people. “It’s wonderful to know the public is thinking about their healthcare workers,” he told us.

Fuel the Frontline has already made a substantial impact, but our work is nowhere near done. Each donation allows us to continue our efforts, expand our reach, grow our program. With everyone’s support, we can fuel the frontline, while also fueling the future of our community. Please consider donating to Fuel the Frontline San Diego today!



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