Two Summit County Search and Rescue volunteers aim to help restaurants and local workers during COVID-19 crisis
To donate to Feed Covid First Responders with Local Restaurants GoFundMe campaign, visit bit.ly/3eo8gp9.
Summit County Search and Rescue volunteers David Diehl and Josh McReavy are now helping Kamas Valley residents who feel a little lost due to the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.
The two set up a GoFundMe crowdsourcing campaign called “Feed COVID First Responders with Local Restaurants” two weeks ago that raises money so they can recruit local restaurants to make meals that will be delivered for free to individuals and families who are still required to work during the shutdown.
Donations are being accepted at bit.ly/3eo8gp9. More information can also be found at Diehl’s Facebook page, facebook.com/100426504733909/posts/211692066940685/?d=n.
The meals are meant to show how much the community appreciates the workers, Diehl said.
Diehl and McReavy have delivered food to the Summit County Emergency Operations Center and the family of a Utah Highway Patrol officer, he said.
“The family has a newborn and two other children, and the wife totally teared up and said she was grateful we thought of them,” Diehl said.
Diehl and McReavy also deliver meals to workers that go beyond first responders.
“We include dispatchers, grocery store employees, local leaders and postal workers, all who are putting in extra hours,” Diehl said. “A lot of these people don’t get very much recognition because of the community’s perception.”
McReavy and Diehl also donated some money to the Park City Hospital in lieu of meals.
“They aren’t accepting food donations, but the money we gave them will go toward groceries for their staff and meals that are prepared at their cafe,” Diehl said.
The campaign not only shows workers appreciation, it also helps local restaurants, McReavy said.
“One of the major points here is that Kamas Valley is a smaller community, and we’re not getting many tourists right now,” he said. “So this is big for the restaurants economically for them to get the news out that they are still open and doing curbside food distribution.”
Some of the participating restaurants include Summit Inn Pizza, High Mountain Burger, Mirror Lake Diner and SUR Latin Street Food, he said.
“Depending on the restaurant and where the meals will go, the size of the orders will vary,” Diehl said. “We’ve delivered meals to two people and up to 20 people.”
Diehl and McReavy want to get as many restaurants involved as they can.
“There are others who are reaching out to us to let us know they are down in their numbers,” Diehl said.
“If there are restaurant owners who need some help or someone who knows restaurant owners can reach out to us,” McReavy said. “We do want to branch out into North Summit, Heber and Park City.”
Lastly, the campaign helps local residents get involved with the COVID-19 cause.
“We had one lady who donated $100 tell us she wasn’t really able to help people during this quarantine because she is 70 years old and retired, which puts her in the at-risk population,” Diehl said. “She said donating money helped her feel she was part of a good, positive solution.”
There is no limit to how much or how little someone can donate, he said.
“If people are out there and can donate an extra $5, it would be a big help,” Diehl said.
Diehl and McReavy started the fundraiser on April 4 with a goal of raising $5,000. By April 13, the campaign had raised $2,170.
“I got the idea after I had seen a Facebook post from a friend who owns a restaurant that had done something similar,” Diehl said. “Since Josh and I know a lot of local residents who live in Summit and Wasatch county, we thought this would be a great way to support people who are on the front lines during this pandemic.”
The two originally planned for the campaign to run for 30 days, but decided to keep it going as long as people want to contribute, Diehl said.
“Anyone, local donors or restaurant owners, who want to get involved can contact us,” he said.
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