HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – There’s big help for local restaurants thanks to a Harrisburg woman, who co-owns three Midstate restaurants.
Chanelle Laus created “Food for the Fight.” The goal is twofold, help struggling restaurants and frontline health care workers.
It was an idea from a friend that quickly turned into something more.
“She was like ‘Can I buy a gift card from one of your restaurants and donate it to a healthcare worker?’ and I was like ‘Wow, absolutely, and also that’s a phenomenal idea and I’d like to take it and run with it,'” said Laus.
Laus created “Food for the Fight” a little over a month ago, asking people to donate money online for gift cards to local restaurants, during the temporary indoor dining restrictions.
“Our original goal on Saturday when we started, was $5,000 and we broke that within 24 hours,” said Laus.
It’s raised close to $22,000 for about 75 Midstate restaurants. While the campaign is over now, Laus’ work isn’t.
“We’re currently still working with the healthcare institutions to figure out the best way to distribute the gift cards,” said Laus.
Half of the $50 gift cards will go to healthcare workers at Penn State Health, and the other half will go to UPMC Pinnacle.
“Seeing this outpouring of support, everyone just donating what they can, both to benefit the restaurants in the area, as well as our frontline, it’s just been extremely meaningful and moving for all of us,” said Shelby Aleman, Patient Experience Team Member, UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg.
Laus echoes that sentiment.
“It was really a beautiful testament to how much people actually care,” said Laus.
It’s a way to say thank you to local heroes.
“Without them, we wouldn’t keep going,” said Laus.