Coronavirus Latest: Group Of Philadelphia Friends Creates GoFundMe To Pay Restaurants To Cater Free Meals To Health Care Workers

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of Philadelphia friends is raising money to help local restaurants and feed health care workers during the COVID-19 crisis. While working from home, a group of friends came up with an idea to help out workers in two major industries who have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

And it’s all a way to help fuel the fight.

“We wanted to try to do more,” Cole Berman said.

So Berman and his five friends created a plan, all via text — following social distancing rules, of course.

“Fuel the Fight is the name of our campaign,” Berman said.

That fuel is in the form of food. People donate to a GoFundMe account and all the money is funneled to local restaurants, like South Philly Barbacoa, Bad Brother and Mike’s BBQ, whose workers prepare food for health care staff at area hospitals.

“We’re looking at it pretty much as a double play,” Berman said.

The GoFundMe page was launched on Friday and already nearly $20,000 has been donated.

Tuesday’s dinner, which will serve more than 50 health care workers, is being delivered to University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

Jefferson, Brynn Marr, Paoli and Christiana Hospitals have upcoming meals.

“Our intention is for this to go as long as necessary,” Berman said.

“If we’re not cooking for our customers, we want to be cooking for the doctors and the hospitals,” Ben Miller said.

Miller and his wife Cristina own South Philly Barbacoa. It’s the first restaurant making food for health care workers, providing hot meals at no charge to health care workers with the side benefit of keeping some of their staff employed.

“It’s helping us out that we can maintain some staff and some income coming in as these times are so devastating,” Miller said. “We’re going to be back in the kitchen putting the love in the foods to give people some more fuel.”

If you’d like to donate to the Fuel the Fight campaign, click here.