Supporting the Frontlines: Exploring a Relief Program for Local Businesses and Hospitals


As countless businesses have started to plummet as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the restaurant industry has been hit especially hard. “We saw our sales drop by 80% in less than four days when we started [to shelter in place],” said Rocco Scordella, owner of two restaurants in Silicon Valley, Tootsie’s and Vina Enoteca. 

Thankfully, while both the frontline workers and restaurants are having problems with space and rent, an organization has surfaced that has been benefiting both industries across the United States. 

Frontline Foods is a national organization that has been delivering hundreds of thousands of meals from local restaurants to the frontline workers, and donating to all of the restaurants that participate in the endeavor. 

“It’s a very win-win situation for the restaurants, the ones donating and the frontline workers,” Scordella said, whose two restaurants out of 1,000 nationwide are helping under the Frontline Foods program.“I mean, we do these things every day,” Scordella said. “We cook for people.” 

According to Palo Alto Online, with the havoc of the virus still scaring people, we tend to forget the other industries getting hit by the pandemic. Restaurants around the world are required to switch over to online orders and closing any services regarding in-house seating and dining to maintain social-distancing. 

“Frontline Foods is making a difference,” Lauren Shortliffe said, a marketing specialist for the Frontline Food Silicon Valley.

“We are able to raise funds that go directly for restaurants because they are in a really tight spot,” Shortliffe told Anthro.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Tootsie’s, one of the two restaurants Rocco Scordella owns is in close proximity to Stanford Hospital, prompting Frontline Food’s to reach out with offers of help. “I think that it was a very easy way to get involved, since this is what we do everyday,” Scordella said. Photo by Anya Lassila.