Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Central Kitchen today announced a partnership to provide fresh daily meals for the 30,000 healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic at NYC Health + Hospitals’ 11 acute care hospitals and five post-acute long-term care facilities across the city’s five boroughs.
Mike Bloomberg’s $6 million gift makes it possible for World Central Kitchen to begin food service operations on April 15, at two locations, and go live across all NYC Health + Hospitals facilities by Monday, April 27.
The collaboration will feed all NYC Health + Hospitals hospital, acute, and post-acute care staff plus additional personnel who have joined their ranks at these facilities, regardless of their department, discipline, or tour, seven days a week, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. from a uniquely designed grab-and-go “cafeteria.” World Central Kitchen and NYC Health + Hospitals have strategized a variety of internal and external set-ups tailored to each individual facility’s needs, ensuring that the highest safety standards are met, frontline workers experience little to no wait for meal dissemination, and that food is available to staff who work overnight shifts. The partnership aims to also meet workers’ dietary restrictions with as little burden as possible.
“As the coronavirus sweeps across the world, health care workers are risking their lives every day to protect ours — and they need our support now more than ever,” said Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg LP, and three-term mayor of New York City. “Here in New York, we’re glad to be teaming up with Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen to provide daily meals to everyone working so hard at 16 of the city’s public hospitals and long-term care facilities run by the NYC Health + Hospitals system. It’s a way for our team at Bloomberg Philanthropies to express our deep appreciation for them — and to help them keep saving lives and battling this disease.”
World Central Kitchen, the international not-for-profit organization founded by chef José Andrés, uses the power of food to heal and strengthen communities in times of crisis. Through its #ChefsForAmerica response to the coronavirus crisis, they are distributing 50,000 meals a day to people in need in the Bronx, Queens, Harlem, Brooklyn and New Jersey. Through their partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, World Central Kitchen will increase production at their meal distribution center at Hudson Yards and establish contracts with local vendors and restaurants to assist in providing thousands of additional fresh meals for the NYC Health + Hospitals staff. This will allow some local restaurants to bring back employees and start to revive the ailing NYC restaurant industry. World Central Kitchen has also distributed more than one million fresh meals to families, seniors, and frontline workers in 65 cities in 20 U.S. states and territories, as well as five cities in Spain.
“In this moment of profound need, World Central Kitchen’s team of food first responders is honored and grateful to be able to work together on this expanded response with the generous support of Bloomberg Philanthropies,” said Nate Mook, CEO of World Central Kitchen. “We know that together we are sharing so much more than just meals, but also hope, dignity, and nourishment for the future. It really instills these brave and tireless workers with the knowledge that we – the people of New York, and of America – are with them.”
NYC Health + Hospitals is the largest public health care system in the country serving more than a million New Yorkers annually. Currently, their hospitals and other care facilities are at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adequately feeding staff who are enduring increased caseloads and pressures, while adhering to strict health guidelines in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, has been increasingly challenging. The Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Central Kitchen partnership will help ensure that these critical frontline NYC Health + Hospitals workers have a steady supply of fresh food easily accessible while they continue to deliver high quality care to New Yorkers.
“Our health care system is incredibly grateful for the generous contribution made by Bloomberg Philanthropies and World Central Kitchen, and their commitment to provide meals to our heroic and dedicated workforce,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “At NYC Health + Hospitals, we value each employee and understand the crucial role everyone plays to address this unprecedented operation.”
NYC Health + Hospitals launched a fundraising campaign in March to help address additional needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign will direct funds to purchase comfort items like groceries, taxi rides, and hotel rooms for their health care workers. Donations can be made through the NYC Health + Hospitals Network for Good fundraising page. Donations for equipment and supplies can directed to Help Now NYC. For more information on NYC Health + Hospitals’ COVID-19 responses, please visit their newsroom.
Mike Bloomberg’s $6 million in support for this partnership is part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Coronavirus Response Initiatives which were launched in March to give public health professionals and local leaders the tools to protect themselves and the public. This support is vital to saving lives and helping mitigate the kind of economic and social damage that could make this crisis even more debilitating for families and communities. Learn more about Bloomberg Philanthropies work to fight the pandemic here.
To make a donation to World Central Kitchen for ongoing meal deliveries to NYC Health + Hospitals please click here.