Off the Grid, the outfit that typically organizes street-food vendor gatherings around San Francisco and the Bay Area, has partnered with the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation to serve 3,200 meals today to doctors, nurses, and staff at Zuckerberg SF General.
A collection of 12 trucks gathered in two parking lots Tuesday to serve up meals to the hospital's huge and hard-working staff, including including Al Pastor Papi, Capelo’s BBQ, Da Poke Man, and La Santa Torta, and others. Each truck is offering one vegetarian and one meat option, and the dishes come from American, Chinese, Hawaiian, Indian, Mexican, Korean, and Peruvian cuisines.
"If the staff at ZSFG aren’t cared for, they can’t do the best job for their patients," says foundation board president John Bell. "We are pleased to be able to support this campus-wide food distribution, which also benefits the vendors whose businesses have been impacted."
Funding for the event came from the the ZSFG COVID-19 Fund, which has raised more than $4.5 million for programs specifically to help support the hospital during this crisis. The fund has also helped by expanding the wi-fi capacity at the hospital to let patients to connect more easily with their loved ones, and providing more protective gear for staff, lab equipment for testing support, and infection control screening and protection.
"Having the local food businesses and their staff come together to feed and thank our medical heroes has been remarkable and incredibly fulfilling," says Off the Grid CEO Matt Cohen. "Initiatives like these allow for small San Francisco based food businesses to both support these medical heroes and maintain their businesses during these unprecedented times."
In a statement, Off the Grid also explained how the organization is helping frontline workers in SF.
Last month, Off the Grid created a fundraising campaign with grocery store workers to help feed employees at local grocery stores and wanted to find a way to also support hospital workers. OTG reached out to Zuckerberg San Francisco General [ZSFG] about this idea. The hospital had wanted to feed the entire staff and OTG was in a good position to handle an event of this nature as well as to provide diverse food offerings. The hospital then turned to San Francisco General Hospital Foundation [the Foundation] to utilize some of the funds they raised for the ZSFG COVID-19 Fund established in late March. One of the goals in raising the money was to support ZSFG with PPE, testing, and other equipment as well as to thank the staff with meals. The Foundation was particularly gratified to not only reward the staff but to provide a work opportunity for the food truck operators.
In order to ensure proper food safety and protection for the workers, OTG has instituted an array of safety protocols during the pandemic.
These include staff and vendors wearing gloves and face masks at all times, six-foot spacing between those waiting for food, and all food service areas are regularly wiped down with disposable disinfectant wipes.
Today's food-truck gathering was a one-time event for SF General staff, but OTG says it looks forward to possible future partnerships with the hospital foundation.