Feeding the Frontlines in Carmel

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April 2020

The City of Carmel and the Rotary Club of Carmel have partnered to provide healthy meals to the health care workers on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) frontlines. The “Feed the Frontlines” initiative has been launched in communities such as Boulder, Colorado, and others across the nation since the onset of COVID-19.

Feed the Frontlines—Carmel

The City of Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, his staff and members of the Rotary Club of Carmel pulled together their resources to create a viable Feed the Frontlines program in Carmel that would not only help local health care workers but also independent restaurants in the city. The city has kicked off the program with $10,000 from its general fund, but the Feed the Frontlines program will need the public’s assistance in order to sustain the program if the need extends past the initial monetary contributions.

Jim Brainard Mayor of Carmel Indiana

The tax-deductible donations will pay for meals that are produced by independent restaurants and delivered by the restaurants to the frontline health care workers at I.U. North Hospital and Ascension St. Vincent Carmel.

Spearheading the effort is Sue Maki, manager of Environmental Initiatives & Education, City of Carmel Utilities. Maki is also a member of the Rotary Club of Carmel.

“I got a phone call [from Nancy Heck with the City of Carmel] explaining that the mayor had been thinking about what more we [the city] can do for the community,” Maki said. “The mayor had come across the Feed the Frontlines Boulder [Colorado] program. They had published—online—a turnkey program with the steps that they took and the documents they developed so we could adapt it to fit our community’s needs.”

Maki explained that the Rotary Club of Carmel is the fiscal agent for the Feed the Frontlines Carmel program.

Feeding the Frontlines

“The [Rotary] Club is accepting the donations and is paying the bills,” Maki explained. “The Rotary District 6560 Foundation is the 501(c)(3) arm of the Central Indiana Rotary District and is the avenue for tax-deductible donations to be made for Feed the Frontlines Carmel. All of this information is on the city’s front page of its website at carmel.in.gov—click on the ‘How Can I Help?’ button.”

Supporting Independent Local Restaurants in Carmel

At this time, Maki and her fellow Carmel Utilities staff member Teresa Lewis have been reaching out to local independently owned and operated restaurants to participate. Several local favorites have immediately jumped on board.

“The restaurants are preparing individually wrapped food and delivering it to the two hospitals so as to minimize any contamination,” Maki shared. “This is a seven-day-a-week program, and it feeds all of the shifts in all the various units that are dealing with COVID-19 patients. The meals are individually packaged because the hospitals didn’t want large pizza boxes or ‘family-style’ meals where cross-contamination could occur. The meals are made to be easily heated up in a microwave and are able to be refrigerated in all of the units.”

Maki concluded, “Teresa is working with the restaurants and is coordinating the schedules on a rotating basis so that all the participating restaurants will benefit from the program. The restaurants will invoice the Rotary Club of Carmel—who is paying the bills—and there will be a fast turnaround in getting monies to the restaurants so they can continue operations.”

For more information about this program, visit carmel.in.gov or contact Sue Maki at (317) 571-2673 or [email protected].

To make a tax-deductible donation, please send a check made payable to Rotary District 6560 Foundation with Feed the Frontlines in the memo line. Mail to: Feed the Frontlines, c/o The Rotary Club of Carmel, PO Box 546, Carmel, IN 46082-0546.

Donations can also be made online via a credit card but are not tax deductible. Rest assured the entire amount (minus PayPal and credit processing fees) will go straight to Feed the Frontlines Carmel.

Participating Restaurants (others to be added as they come online):





Joe’s Next Door

KingCal Kitchen

Fork + Ale House

Greek Tony’s