MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For months, doctors, nurses, and the staff who support them have been at war with a virus. COVID-19 is straining health professionals, but it’s also sparking ideas about how people can help fuel their fight.

All day today, WCCO is hosting a Day of Giving for Feeding the Frontline Minnesota. The nonprofit is feeding frontline workers with health food from restaurants that need the business.

Tao Natural Foods is just one of several stores partnered with Feeding the Frontline Minnesota. They’re providing nutritious food to doctors, nurses and others fighting the battle against COVID-19.

In the bowels of the building that houses Tao Natural Foods and Organic Cafe, owners Anna and Sam Needham are busy at work, creating meals for frontline workers, food to help fuel their bodies during this battle against the novel coronavirus.

“It is mixed greens, sweet potatoes, quinoa, roasted smoked turkey,” Anna Needham said. “In this bowl there are sweet potatoes, which are high in beta carotene, really important in booting an immune system.”

Tao Natural Foods is one of several local restaurants partnering with Feeding the Frontline MN. A total of 130 meals are being prepared to take to Bethesda Hospital in St Paul, where nurses and doctors have very little down time.

“Feeding the Frontline requested that we have one dish that has a meat protein in it, and another that is vegan,” Anna Needham said. “We are very grateful and honored that we can bring what we believe are healing food to them.”

This effort is also healing to their business, allowing them to keep the doors open and employees working during these uncertain times.

“A lot of places had to close down. We were able to stay open. We worked a lot of long days and this has just been a great boost and its given us a little more purpose,” Sam Needham said.

Click here to donate. Any dollar amount helps. A $10 donation provides a healthy meal and a healthy snack for someone working in the hospital. So far, Feeding the Frontline MN has been able to serve 7,300 meals and 7,200 snacks thanks to donations.

Reg Chapman