Food For Fighters is a very innovative program from Thailand which seeks to accomplish two things; first to provide hot, nutritious meals for healthcare workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, and secondly to provide work for restaurant employees who have been impacted as Thailand, like many countries, has closed restaurants except for take out. This is a classic win-win situation and an idea we’d like to see exported around the world.
One of the founders of Food For Fighters from Panchana Vatanasathien is the owner of PenLaos a well know restaurant in Khao Yai and a community organizer. She explains,“I’m truly happy that as an owner of a small community restaurant, I could gather a group of restauranteurs who got massive economic effects from the COVID-19 pandemic not only to run their businesses again but also to help deliver food supplies to the frontline medical staff at field hospitals. I hope this new disrupted social business model will be replicated in other international settings to sustainably address emergency economic and social issues for every community amid the outbreak.”
The original goal is to deliver 3,000 boxes of food a day to hospital staff for 30 days. Participating restaurants will be paid 50/baht per box or around $1.50 USD.
To raise money to pay the restaurant workers, the organizers have launched a crowdfunding campaign. To learn more or donate click here.
Recently the UNDP signed on to help spur the voluntary spirit behind this initiative. They are also partnering with the Thai Chamber of Commerce to help move this program upcountry as the spread of COVID-19 impacts more of Thailand.
Currently over 30 restaurants are participating and the list of medical facilities receiving the food is growing. For more information on the program’s success please visit their Facebook page.
This is a wonderful idea and a program we’d like to see expand across the globe as most countries face the difficult task of dealing the COVID-19 pandemic, while also trying to support out of work hospitality staff. Almost half of the world right now is under some form of social distancing orders which have seen restaurants closed. This program not only helps crucial medical staff, but it also provides income to restaurant workers who have been hard hit around the world.