Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) Metro Detroit feeds hospital workers through local restaurants
• 20,100 meals delivered by 50 restaurants to 33 area hospitals in one month
• Raised $200K in four weeks through organic community outreach to more than 22,000 Facebook followers – but more help is needed!
• Started by six women wanting to make a difference during COVID-19 pandemic
By: Front Line Appreciation Group Metro Detroit
"It's a very simple concept: FLAG Metro Detroit collects donations to support local restaurants who prepare and deliver meals to medical workers," says Monica Toomey of Bloomfield Hills, one of six co-founders of the organization. "The hospitals, restaurants and their staffs are part of the community. They're family, friends and neighbors. Through the donations, we're feeding their bodies, lifting their spirits and helping restaurants stay in business."
It all started when Toomey and the group were looking for a way to safely help the communities during the pandemic. So they copied the model of a similar group in Chatham and Madison, New Jersey.
FLAG Metro Detroit formed a Facebook group on March 24 and already has more than 22,000 members. The group also set up a website in April; the response has been overwhelming. Within two weeks, the group received $100,000 to buy meals from locally owned restaurants – delivering as many as 1,500 meals daily.
All contributions are used to purchase meals for hospital workers from locally owned restaurants. Donations are tax deductible. No money is used for salaries or operating costs.
"This is a passion project. The only thing we care about today is raising money for meals tomorrow," said Toomey. "We want hospital workers to know we're thinking of them, that we have a hand on their backs. And we want to help the restaurant owners as much possible.
"The need is great and ongoing. Without money, there are no meals."
FLAG organizers have made it easy to donate: Donate safely and securely online at flagmetrodetroit.org. Flag Metro Detroit has also partnered with Community Foundation of St. Clair County to accept donations on their behalf.
Front Line Appreciation Group (FLAG) Metro Detroit is a nonprofit organization based in Southeast Michigan. The group formed in March 2020 to provide meals to front line hospital workers from locally owned restaurants in the Metro Detroit area.