It started with one idea, one phone call and one family. And now the Feed the Frontlines initiative is making a huge impact in our community.
The charitable organization is now feeding 3,000 people a day. They’ve raised $1.3 million from 6,000 donors, and have delivered 66,000 meals to 35 New York City hospitals.
Luca DiPietro owned five Tarallucci E Vino Restaurants. He had to close four of them shortly after the city's order to close all dine-in restaurants and bars due to the coronavirus pandemic — forcing him to lay off 95 of his 102 workers. Only one of the five locations, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, was able to stay open for pick-up and delivery orders.
Then, a phone call from a friend to DiPietro's wife Kate changed things.
"A friend reached out to us and offered to buy meals from us, but she wanted them to go to a hospital," Kate said.
Thus the idea was hatched, and since then the grassroots organization run by Kate — with the help of their two children, Isabella and Ian — has been able to bring back 35 workers to help nourish NYC health care professionals.
"It was born out of necessity, but it was also born out of generosity," said Kate.
Kate, a star lacrosse player at Harvard in the 1980’s, rallied support from her old college teammates and this organization blazed into overdrive — now extending from Boston's Back Bay to the Bay Area in California. The true values of sports are all at play in this venture: teamwork, selflessness, dedication and commitment.
"The first people I reached out to beyond my family and immediate friends in New York City were my teammates," Kate said. "New York City was the first, but now it's grown out, kind of like we're passing the ball all around the country."
Feed the Frontlines embodies everything that makes New York unique and special.