May 11, 2020

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Feeding the Frontline

Perri Searles, an Associate in the Corporate & Investment Bank, shares her experience providing meals to frontline workers fighting the coronavirus.

May 13, 2020

On April 7, about 100 analysts and associates from J.P. Morgan’s Markets, Sales, Research, Investment Banking and Securities Services businesses answered the call to sign up for Operation Feed the Frontline. Our goal was simple: provide meals to frontline workers fighting coronavirus, while supporting local restaurants and delivery workers.

In One Month 48 deliveries 17 states, 27 cities, 2,100 meals One Month 48 deliveries 17 states 27 cities 2,100 meals

One month, 48 deliveries, 17 states, 27 cities and 2,100 meals later, our work is ongoing as we continue to reach some of the hardest hit areas in the United States and show our support for frontline heroes. Hospitals, fire stations, police departments, nursing homes, night shifts, environmental service crews, testing sites and other essential service workers nationwide have received deliveries from ‘their friends at J.P. Morgan.’ The process is simple. J.P. Morgan colleagues nominate frontline workers (family, friends, loved ones, etc.). Then, coordinators assign a team of two volunteers to orchestrate a delivery, and they are fully responsible for connecting with their assigned ‘hero’ and coordinating a meal for them and their unit fighting COVID. The recipient’s favorite restaurant is used when possible. Otherwise, the volunteers find another local restaurant to provide and deliver the meals.

While the deliveries are quantifiable, the impact of our efforts is not. From the Chief Falafel Officer at a Mediterranean restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland to the owner of Spare Rib BBQ in Shiprock, New Mexico, local businesses have expressed tremendous gratitude for our orders of up to 200 meals at a time. In a show of solidarity, restaurateurs have extended 10-50% discounts, thrown in homemade desserts, made the deliveries themselves and one was even inspired to donate 100 pies a week to a local hospital after our large order.

From those on the frontline, we have received dozens of thank you notes and pictures of heroes dressed in their PPE enjoying meals in front of signs thanking J.P. Morgan for the support. Often, these meals are the only time during 12-hour shifts they have taken a moment to rest and refuel, whether tending to COVID-positive expectant mothers or assessing incoming patients in triage tents. For one of our heroes, he movingly mentioned that our lunchtime delivery from a local taco shop was the first time he and his colleagues had sat and laughed together in weeks.

This experience has reinforced that we all have the ability to make a difference – not just in times of crisis, but also on any given ‘normal’ day. There is no doubt that we will all remember where we were and what we did when coronavirus gripped the world in early 2020. While we will never forget the death, destruction and despair, we will also never forget the sense of community, resiliency and strength efforts like Feed the Frontline have fostered.

Thanks to all of the analysts and associates who are making a difference across the U.S., and special thanks to my co-leads – Kathryn Amato, Charlie Henick, Lisa Huang, John Hutchison and Gulli Premoli – who continue to work tirelessly to ensure our efforts to feed the frontline carry on.

workers team

workers team

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