The COVID Clinician Meal Support Program

Covid front-line clinicians enjoy a meal at UCSF

The Concept and Process

How to replicate this for your community


  1. Feed our clinicians who are stressed, tired, and generally don’t have time in this environment to make and bring their own food.
  2. Make the process as efficient and simple for the hospitals. They have a lot going on, so we do a bunch of work to make this as seamless for them as possible. For example, we have one restaurant make all the meals so there is one person we need to educate on the protocols and one person doing drop-off instead of 4–5 meals coming from a number of restaurants, causing more chaos. No matter what, we can’t make their lives any harder or more complicated. This means that we add a human coordinator to ensure that the restaurants are on-boarded with the proper instructions for food prep, delivery, etc. That person also makes sure that we stay in close communication with the hospitals as their protocols and environment change and we can still support them with the least amount of friction.
  3. Employ restaurants and their teams during this really difficult time. Due to many communities enforcing a shelter-in-place, our restaurant industry (and their suppliers/farmers) are getting decimated. We can keep them going by bringing them delivery business.
  4. Capture the amazing community interest to support both of these groups by giving them a clear channel for putting funds to work.
  5. Try to scale this up to support as many clinicians and restaurants as possible. This is last only because the first three are critical and this can’t be scaled up at the cost of the prior goals.
  6. Don’t cause chaos. Please don’t just send food to hospitals without having a representative there to coordinate it

The Team

  • Administrator(s) — One to two people. Responsible for overseeing it and making sure we bring in funding for it.
  • Coordinator — One person. Responsible for the day-to-day matching of restaurants to hospitals and eventually payment from Sponsor to Restaurant. Also responsible for communicating with Hospitals to understand and adapt to changing protocols.
  • Hospital Representative — We can’t emphasize enough how important this is. Hospitals are in crisis mode with many layers of protective measures in place. Don’t just start sending big unexpected shipments to them. One rep per hospital is ideal. We started with one person, Sydney Gressel, and she’s helped us navigate protocols and spread it to more hospitals responsibly. This is probably one of the most important steps to getting this right.
  • Restaurant Representative — One per restaurant. Chris Consentino was super helpful in helping us figure out the right process for food prep and delivery.

The resources

  • Hospitals — Each row is a hospital we work with. Columns are the critical information including things like how many meals are needed for each shift, contact person and any specific delivery instructions. Currently we manually enter these, but you could create a form to support more groups if your operation was able to support it.
  • Sponsors — This is populated by a Google Form. We collect their name, contact information and the total amount they are pledging. Some donors pledge more than is needed for one meal, so we keep a tally how much they have paid out and how much is remaining.
  • Restaurants — This is populated by a Google Form. We collect their name, contact information, total number of people they can serve at a time, lead time required and any other constraints we should be aware of.
  • Matching — This is managed by the coordinator and it’s where they do the job of picking Restaurants from the list, assigning them to a specific meal at a specific Hospital and assigning a Sponsor to each meal. Right now this is manually done as it requires a lot of confirmations and coordination with each group to make sure it goes smoothly. We also track when payment has been made to ensure restaurants get paid by the Sponsors. Once the coordinator assigns all of the slots, they email all of the parties with instructions and confirms they are able to do it. They then track the deliveries and eventually route the payment method from the Restaurant to the Sponsor.

Ways to improve this

  • Scale up to support more hospitals (front-line workers of all types) and more restaurants. Currently it takes too much coordination to do this easily, but someone might be able to automate this into a platform.
  • Lower the Sponsor threshold. We wanted to make this as simple for us as possible and therefore need a Sponsor to be able to pay for an entire meal (~$1k) so that we didn’t have to chase down multiple sponsors per meal and potentially leave the Restaurants underpaid. You could run it as a GoFundMe (or similar) to take the funds and then be responsible for direct pay-outs. Or integrate with another service that aggregates the smaller payments into $1k chunks for payout.
  • Make it tax deductible. There are a lot of dollars that could and want to flow into this if it were a proper 501c3.
  • Do this for places that aren’t hospitals but need help.

SF, New York, digital media, startups and stuff. Sailing, traveling, great scotch and lots of love for @tiboshi!

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

I’m Aware That I’m Rare: Tom Krohn (192)

State of Child Health: One year on — in conversation with Mairi Stark

Pharma tightening ​the noose around their own necks

COVID 19 — What is the threat and where are we in the pandemic?

species from extinction During work, he suddenly tooth in Vietnam

Hình ảnh có liên quan

Organ Donation — why people who do, are spectacular human beings — part 2

The Changing Landscape Of The Life Sciences Industry

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Frank Barbieri

Frank Barbieri

SF, New York, digital media, startups and stuff. Sailing, traveling, great scotch and lots of love for @tiboshi!

More from Medium

What is discrimination?

10 title techniques that will draw the audience to your site

10 title techniques that will draw the audience to your site

Happiness is a Choice….

By: Eliza Aronson