Breckenridge woman organizes donation program to bring meals to essential workers
BRECKENRIDGE — Restaurants in Summit County are supporting the local community by donating meals to essential workers.
Tricia Stokes, a Breckenridge resident, is coordinating the Summit County Essential Personnel Support Program to bring the community together during a time when workers are risking their health to keep essential businesses going.
“I decided to start this program to support those essential workers,” Stokes said. “The mission of the program is to pull the community together during this time of hardship by coordinating meal donations between restaurants and essential personnel.”
So far, 11 restaurants have volunteered to donate meals, including BreckFast in Breckenridge, Peak of Asia, BoLD Restaurant and Blue River Bistro in Breckenridge. Frisco’s Pure Kitchen and 5th Avenue Grille have signed up to donate meals as well as Dillon’s Lili’s Bistro, Red Mountain Grill, Sabor Mazatlan, Cala Pub and Restaurant and Dillon Dam Brewery.
Meals have been donated to the Breckenridge fire and police departments; Summit Fire & EMS in Dillon, Keystone and Frisco; the Krystal 93 Radio Station; Breckenridge’s Family & Intercultural Resource Center; and the post offices in Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne.
“I focused on the police, fire, EMS and post offices,” Stokes said. “I basically started calling restaurants and the police department and the fire department and began asking how many meals essential workers needed and how many meals should restaurants donate.”
Steve Lipsher, a spokesperson for Summit Fire & EMS, expressed his appreciation of the community coming together to support essential workers and first responders through donated meals and public messages.
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate support from the public and organizations like this,” Lipsher said. “It’s a morale booster.”
“This weekend, I drove past signs that said ‘We heart first responders,’ and it meant a lot,” he added.
Stokes is hoping the program will benefit local restaurants and essential personnel.
“I have been trying to team up a restaurant with essential personnel in the same town,” Stokes said. “That way, it is building that town up, and maybe the essential people have a great meal and go back to that restaurant or tell their friends about it so that helps the restaurants survive this time.”
In addition to coordinating donations, Stokes created a Facebook page where people can donate to the program. Financial donations will be used to provide meals for workers at larger businesses, such as grocery stores.
“What I am going to do with those funds is subsidize the restaurants that are donating to grocery stores because it is just too much to ask them to donate the entire 50, 60 meals,” Stokes said. “So I will pay them a proportion on the donation so it is not such a big loss to them.”
Stokes hopes the program is an opportunity for locals to work together during a universally trying time.
“This is all about strengthening the community by all pulling together,” she said.
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