COOKSHOP Biz to Feed COVID-19 Frontliners -Kicks off Historic Fundraiser

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COOKSHOP.biz, the first online food delivery service in Liberia, launches its Feed the Frontline Campaign to raise funds to feed frontline workers fighting Covid-19 including community health workers, doctors, nurses, contact tracers, and law enforcement.

The online launch will take place on Saturday, August 15 on social media, #FTF Challenge beginning at noon, featuring stories from the frontline, donors, and Liberian rap artist, J Slught.

“Customers, donors and well-wishers alike can track the campaign’s progress and make donations through Cookshop.org, by using the Cookshop app ( HYPERLINK “http://www.cookshop.biz/appstore” \t “_blank” www.cookshop.biz/appstore) and website ( HYPERLINK “http://www.cookshop.biz/” \t “_blank” www.cookshop.biz), or by dialing the short-code *747# on the Lonestar network.   The campaign will also feature stories from Frontline workers. You can find them on social media at #FTFChallenge,” a Cookshop.biz press release stated Tuesday.

Working with the Ministry of Health, the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, JFK Memorial Medical Center, the Liberia National Police, and Roberts International Airport, the novel Cookshop.biz initiative seeks to deliver 200 cooked meals daily to frontline workers.

Connecting the frontliners

Registered Nurse Bendu Yeke, works at Roberts International Airport supervising four nurses over three shifts, hardly having time to eat.

“I love my job, but finding food is a real challenge,” said Nurse Bendu. She, like other healthcare workers on the frontline of the coronavirus response, either goes hungry or leaves work assignments to find food, thereby creating gaps in healthcare delivery.

Cookshop founders, Charles Dorme Cooper and Mlen-Too Wesley recognized the need of frontline workers during their partnership with the Ministry of Health and National Public Health Institute of Liberia, as a consequence, in April, Cookshop delivered over thirty five hundred meals to frontline workers.

But frontline workers are not the only ones hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. State of Emergency restrictions significantly reduced revenue for small businesses, while the near shut down of the food supply chain caused a major increase in commodity prices and reduced access to food.

Ensconced in the food service industry, Cooper and Wesley saw firsthand the food needs of the frontline and the need of local restaurants to remain in business.  They developed the Feed the Frontline campaign to address these needs.

Cooper said, “Cookshop works with local restaurants and small scale farmers to provide nutritious food to frontline workers and this in turns gives them the ability to stay in business.”

Wesley added, “We must all come together now to fortify the frontline of the COVID-19 response who are working to protect our country.”

Background
Founded in February 2014, Cookshop continues to pave the way for tech entrepreneurs to not only create relevant businesses but also use their expertise to innovate solutions in times of crisis.   Cookshop has blazed a path in this arena by developing them for the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia to track COVID-19 cases and to ensure the national food transportation network remained in operation during the State of Emergency.

Together with the health authorities Cookshop launched the COVID-19 Rapid Assessment System (RAS) in April.  RAS is a public health tool used by Liberians to assess their coronavirus symptoms.  RAS is also used by health authorities to collect data from contact monitoring, active case finding and house visits.

To date over 100,000 users have conducted over 200,000 self-assessments using it to allow health authorities to identify potential cases and hotspots.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Cookshop also developed the National Food Transport Permit System that enabled those in the industry to receive digital and physical permits to carry produce across country lines during the State of Emergency.  The MOA has processed more than 200 permit applications from 11 counties.

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