Feed the Heroes - The campaign set to feed frontline staff during Covid-19
"Lots of these people are dedicating 12 and 16 hour days. It’s not always guaranteed that they’ll be able to have a meal during that."
It's an unusual time in our society at the moment with many of us feeling helpless with the situation we're in. Cian O'Flaherty, founder of Safecility, has put his entrepreneurial and business skills to use during this uncertain period to create the Feed The Heroes campaign.
Feed The Heroes enables food business to work through the crisis and provide for those working on the frontline, allowing restaurants and takeaways to sign up as suppliers to feed the frontline workers during Covid-19.
Speaking on JOE's business show, All In, which is backed by AIB, Cian spoke about the encouragement and support his campaign has received over the past few weeks.
"We’ve been inundated, we set up a form on our site for suppliers. At the time, people were unsure whether they’d be staying open through the week let alone for the duration of the emergency.
"It was a sense that if you were still open and still interested in providing food, especially if you were a dine-in moving to take-out or you were in a part of the sector badly hit, get on the form, let us know where you are and we’ll try our best to get to as many of you as possible," he said.
"You start with, maybe someone reaches out to you on Twitter and says ‘We’re in this location’ and you’re like OK we have now got money and we’ll ring a takeaway that’s near them and let’s send something in. The first number of drops were that."
"Within about five days we’d 300+ suppliers sign up across the country. We’ve been working through that to try and find matches between that and all of the inbound information we’re getting.
"I guess one of the things I naively thought at the start of this, you know the pictures of hospital doctors that that was the response, but the response is a full system-wide emergency response. There’s people who are volunteering to go back into service to man the testing units, the drive through tests.
"The national ambulance service are obviously responsible for a huge amount. The Dublin Fire Brigade paramedic crews are doing the Dublin region. You have the people being redeployed from other parts of the public sector to do contact tracing in office blocks across the country. We wouldn’t nearly look at those spaces and think that’s a vital pillar of the national response.
"Lots of these people are dedicating 12 and 16 hour days. It’s not always guaranteed that they’ll be able to have a meal during that. There’s something very Irish about just feeding people out of gratitude and I think it sort of resonated with the public who’s sitting at home as a positive contribution they can make."