Spark Note: Local Teen Keeps Health Workers Fed

“Dena, how can I buy pizzas for a shift at your hospital?” That simple question from my Uncle Shawn to my mother was the starting point for what is now, The Meal Bridge. What began as one good deed, made me wonder if I could amplify that initiative. With friends and family in both the restaurant and healthcare fields, we were witnessing first-hand the growing impact of the coronavirus. Maybe a website could provide a platform to help both. 

That was a Friday. With the help of my father, an advertising creative, we created a name, a logo and a basic website by Monday. According to my father, thanks to a streamlined, cross-kitchen-table approval process, which usually takes months, we knocked out in days. And because my mother works at Emory University Hospital, she was able to find a number of units and shifts that needed to be fed as they worked long hours.

As that first week progressed, the site began its work generating needed delivery business for the restaurants near the hospital and feeding the hungry and tired Emory Hospital employees. Friends and family were the first to donate, but then, with a few articles in the local media and a generous Atlanta community, days of donations quickly turned into full weeks of filled time slots. The Meal Bridge was off and running.

Since that first successful week, we’ve been working to add new hospitals and local restaurants. We’ve discovered that each hospital has its own internal processes to navigate. But slowly, we’ve brought more on board, even some in other cities.

” If a regular American 16-year-old can find a way to help, I like our chances for the future.”

In January, if you would have asked me what I’d be doing this spring, I guarantee you, being quarantined in my house, juggling online school work, a charitable website, and the occasional media interview, would not have been my answer. Like people all over the world, life got different in a hurry. But I feel like I’m gaining a perspective. Hopefully, when this is all over, my generation will be better humans for it. If a regular American 16-year-old can find a way to help, I like our chances for the future.

My name is Grey Cohen. I am 16 years old and a sophomore at Druid Hills High School. I play lacrosse for my school team. I was born and live in Atlanta with my dad, mom, sister, and Olive the dog.

Visit The Meal Bridge website today: https://www.themealbridge.com/

Here’s the deal. The coronavirus has made life difficult for all of us in Atlanta and beyond. Without question, people in the restaurant and healthcare industries are some of the most affected. We created this site to help both. By enabling participating hospitals to post daily shifts open to meal donations and local restaurants providing take-out meals, we hope to simultaneously generate needed business for restaurants and feed our brave healthcare workers.

How it works.

STEP 1: Click on the hospital you would like to donate meals to.

STEP 2: Follow the instructions on the specific hospital page

STEP 3: Pick a restaurant from the provided list, call and order the meals.

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