Druid Hills High School sophomore Grey Cohen is doing what she can to help those on the front lines battling COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Cohen, 16, and her family, created The Meal Bridge to help people working in the restaurant and healthcare fields. The website allows people to order food from local restaurants to deliver to hospital workers at Emory Hospital. The site is for medical staff directly treating COVID-19 patients.
Cohen said the idea came to her after a discussion between her uncle and mother—who works at Emory—about finding ways to support local restaurants while, also helping to feed health workers who are on the front lines of this virus.
“[My mom] told me what he wanted to do and I thought it was amazing,” she said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to expand this program and make it available to other people in the community so that they can do the same thing.”
Cohen and her family searched for nearby restaurants that could deliver meals to the hospital, and find out which hospital units were specifically treating COVID patients.
“From there, we were able to create the Sign Up Genius and provide a simple way for people to sign up individual [hospital] units and then ship [them meals].”
As of today, 13 restaurants and Emory Hospital are participating in The Meal Bridge. Additional restaurants will be added to the program soon, according to Cohen.
Cohen said they had to work out a few kinks, in the beginning, to make sure food was getting delivered to the right hospital units.
“But everyone has been great helping us work through [the kinks],” she said. “People are letting me know what’s going on when it’s actually happening. That has really helped us through the obstacles.”
Cohen is managing The Meal Bridge while completing her digital learning assignments.
“I’m obviously focusing mostly on my school work—trying to make sure I get that done,” she said. “Then I take breaks throughout the day to go through and answer emails to organize everything and make sure it’s all flowing smoothly.”
She said she has received a lot of support from her friends, classmates and teachers who wants to assist with The Meal Bridge.
“Everyone loves the idea,” she said. “I’ve gotten lots of help from my friends, wanting to help contribute, and I’ve also got some emails from my teachers, which is really fun to see.”
Cohen said she hopes The Meal Bridge inspires others to lend a helping hand however they can.
“This was just a little idea that I had hoping that I could use team members in my community to also help provide meals to the hospital staff, and it has really grown into something else,” she said. “I hope other people can see that whatever idea they have, they can really make it into something that means a lot to their community.”