Written and Published by: Dillon Thomas, CBS4 Denver
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Thanks to a team of women in northern Colorado, hundreds of health care workers in hospitals are eating warm meals prepared by local restaurants. The group “Feed the NoCo Front Line” received more than $30,000 in donations since conception by Tricia Canonico.

Canonico told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas her idea started during the coronavirus outbreak as a goal of raising $1,000. By the end of the first day of the fundraiser, Coloradans had donated more than $10,000.

“We can raise money to purchase meals from restaurants and bring them to the hospitals to help the overworked health care workers,” Canonico said of her project.

Since then, four other women have joined the project. Shelly Peterson, Andrea Campbell, Allison Cardon and Mollie Wolf now spend their days gathering donations, purchasing meals from local restaurants, and scheduling deliveries to more than eight northern Colorado hospitals and medical providers during the COVID-19 response.

“(Medical providers) always seem to be able to step up for us. We wanted our community to be able to step up for them this time,” Canonico said.

Wolf, who also works in several emergency rooms for UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, said her coworkers are rejuvenated and lifted up by the warm meals.

“It always feels good to be appreciated,” Wolf said. “It just makes you want to work that much harder.”

The meals are currently being ordered from four area restaurants, including Hearth in Windsor. Hearth and other locally-owned restaurants offer discounted prices for the meals so more can be delivered to hospitals.

Feed the NoCo Front Line uses every donated penny to keep employees working at the restaurants, while also serving the medical workers. Meals are rotated among the participating medical centers, and deliveries are done during shift changes so people can be fed either before or after their shifts.

“All these little gestures we are getting in the hospital just really boost everybody’s spirits for the day, and gives us the boost to keep providing this excellent patient care we give,” Wolf said.

As donations to the GoFundMe continue to poor in, more meals are being ordered.

“With the money we have, we could provide meals throughout the hospital system until at least May 4,” Canonico said.

“Our whole community is working together, and we all have a role to play. Thank you for recognizing the role of the hospital, and everybody who works in it,” Wolf said.

https://cbsloc.al/3bFRrnJ

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses in the Fort Collins community come together in the best and most creative ways, because they know to and because they want to. These stories of businesses working together truly exemplify the strength, resilience and commitment to our economic vitality. They are Bringing Business Home.