Feed the Fight Kalamazoo helps hospital staff and restaurants at the same time

A new volunteer effort that supports both healthcare workers and local restaurants is now underway.

Feed the Fight Kalamazoo delivered its first meals to Bronson Methodist Hospital Monday, April 13. Meals were picked up from Maggie’s Cafe at 11 a.m. and Middle Eastern Appetite at 8 p.m. The first meals were delivered to the Emergency Department, the Ortho Surgery Unit, and the Trauma Care units of Bronson Hospital.

Feed the Fight Kalamazoo is modeled after similar programs in Washington D.C. and a number of cities in North Carolina. Those started in mid-March as neighborhood efforts to patronize their local restaurants and show support for healthcare workers at the outset of the COVID-19 crisis.

In Kalamazoo, local activist Sally Hadden knows some of those who have launched such efforts in D.C. and North Carolina and reached out to them to learn more. She says she jumped at the chance to bring this simple, helpful model to the Greater Kalamazoo area. Hadden also brought Jodi Michaels and Adam Morse onboard as co-organizers.

Working with volunteers and individual contributions, Feed the Fight Kalamazoo will purchase and deliver takeout meals from local restaurants for healthcare workers and other first responders across the region. 

Feed the Fight has the double impact of driving business to local restaurants working to stay operational while thanking and supporting healthcare workers and first responders fighting on the front lines of this crisis, organizers say. They will also be delivering meals to the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

Organizer Sally Hadden says the idea was born out of a desire to do something when the current situation was becoming more and more uncertain. 

“Frankly, I’ve been itching to do something as the health situation has spiraled downward and I know many others feel the same. This is it – Feed the Fight Kalamazoo.” 

So far, participating restaurants are: LaFamilia Mexican Cafe, Maggie’s Cafe and Catering, Main Street Pub West Main, Martell’s, Middle Eastern Appetite, Nick’s Gyros, Olde Peninsula, and Rykse & Co.

To learn more and help Feed the Fight Kalamazoo, please visit here or follow the effort on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram #FTFKalamazoo.

Read more articles by Kathy Jennings.

Kathy Jennings is the managing editor of Southwest Michigan's Second Wave. She is a freelance writer and editor.