A Win-Win for First Responders & Restauranteurs

In these difficult times, those in the front lines of COVID-19 – the medical first responders – are certainly thankful for recognition for all they do for the community. That recognition has traditionally come by way of plaques, trophies and plenty of appreciative handshakes. But as Bob Dylan put it, “The times, they are a-changin’.” And fittingly, an organization is responding to that change in a very creative way.

Prior to each hurricane season, Amplify Clearwater typically hosts an annual event featuring first responders to thank them for their efforts. But this year, that appreciation has taken on a new form: Delivering meals to first responders caring for coronavirus patients. But there’s a dual benefit involved this year because the recognition also aids some of Clearwater’s restaurants, which are struggling to survive.

Photo courtesy of Amplify Clearwater

“That was the challenge,” said Amanda Payne, CEO of Amplify Clearwater. “How can we help first responders in a different way this time and also infuse restaurants with cash that they weren’t expecting – in some instances over 100 delivered meals at a time? By accomplishing that, we could feed first responders and also put money into the pockets of local restaurants.’

Photo courtesy of Amplify Clearwater

Amplify Clearwater swung into action, quickly raising a kitty of $9,000 that’s been spent on meals for 500 first responders. While Amanda is proud of that, her goal is to reach $30,000 for the project. Fortunately, she has an important ally – her husband.

“He works at Morton Plant Hospital,” she said. “Those in the medical field are constantly helping patients on the special COVID floors, which can expose them to potential harm. The medical staff works tremendously hard and taking a break for a meal can be a problem, especially if the cafeteria is closed or not accessible. That’s when we step in with hearty meals prepared by local restaurants.”

Photo courtesy of Amplify Clearwater

For more information concerning this extremely helpful project, go to or to donate to the fundraising efforts, visit Amplify Clearwater’s GoFund me page at Attitude of Gratitude – Fuel The Frontline organized by Amplify Clearwater For more news, follow #AmplifyClearwater on social media.

Feature photo courtesy of Amplify Clearwater

Photo courtesy of Amplify Clearwater

Feature photo – Mayor Frank Hibbard hands out meals to first responders.

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