Joe Kaliko and Joe Marini from Chicken Joe’s have partnered in the past with events like their food drive for the homeless at Thanksgiving and their pizza dinner fundraiser, “Dough for Donations,” which raised funds for the charities supported by Chicken Joe’s “Ride for Kids.”
In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kaliko and Marini have paired up again, this time to feed front line workers across Fairfield County and into Westchester.
Kaliko said the effort is benefiting seven hospitals and two police departments, and in the course of a little over two weeks they’ve prepared and delivered about 4,500 meals.
“We were going to do the truck with hot meals but the hospitals didn’t want people going in and out of the building,” he explained. “They asked us to pack up and box the individual meals. So that’s what we’re doing.”
“We’re rolling out about 300 meals per day, per hospital and doing two days per hospital, so that’s 14 days of 300 meals,” Kaliko said.
Meals are being sent to Greenwich Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Norwalk Hospital, Bridgeport Hospital, St Vincent’s Medical Center, Danbury Hospital and White Plains Hospital, as well as Greenwich Police Dept and Bridgeport Police Dept.
“Anyone with a hospital badge or a police officer can get a free meal,” Kaliko said, adding that in addition to volunteers who are delivering and serving meals, they are also employing several people to make the meals and package them.
Kaliko said the meals include a wrap or sandwich, piece of fruit, drink and cookie.
“The meals run $8.00 to $10.00 each, and that’s about $40,000,” he said.
Kaliko said people can use Venmo and put in “Chicken Joe” and note the reason for donation.
Or send a check payable to ‘Ride for Kids’ and mail to Chicken Joe’s, 231 East Putnam Ave, Cos Cob, CT 06807.
Also, Kaliko said there is a jar in the store in Cos Cob where people are depositing checks written to ‘Ride for Kids.’