Help us feed healthcare workers and support local restaurants at the same time!

Frontline healthcare and emergency workers at Mercy Regional Medical Center, Animas Surgical Hospital, San Juan Basin Public Health, Durango Fire, and Durango Police are waging an epic battle against COVID-19. These professionals put their health and lives at risk daily for our community, but the stakes of their risk and the associated additional stress at this time have never been higher.  They deserve our support! At the same time, local independent restaurants, one of the core elements that make this community so amazing to live in and visit, are suffering from the devastating economic impact of the virus.  Is it possible to help both at the same time?  Yes, there’s a way and you can help!

We are members of the Durango community that decided to do something to support both frontline health workers and local independent restaurants. We are implementing a program created by one of the country’s foremost chefs and restaurateurs that helps the community donate meals from local restaurants to healthcare workers on the frontlines. Healthcare workers get a nourishing meal, and local restaurants get badly needed business to keep running and keep staff employed.  Win! Win! Win!  The third win is our community, since we all benefit from supporting our healthcare heroes, and helping small businesses rebound so they’re there for us when this is over.

Durango Land and Homes, Premier Vacation Rentals Group, Mercy Regional Medical Center and Animas Surgical Hospital have kickstarted the program with $41,500.

With your help we have surpassed our $60,000 goal! With each additional donation, more meals will be served to healthcare workers at the Saturday vaccination clinics. 


Give any amount you like by updating the quantities of $1 donations in the order form until you get to your desired amount.

Spring 2021 Stats

Meals Served
$$ Raised

Spring 2020 Stats

Meals Served
$$ Raised

I have been fortunate enough to receive meals from both Ska and Switchback. We are so thankful for the local support! At the end of a long shift, getting home and decontaminating (again) just to cook and be able to enjoy a warm meal is hard to do. So thank you Local First, for keeping us fed so we can keep on serving!

Nurse at Mercy Regional Medical Center

Thank you! Thank you! Emotions ranged from physical jumping, to tears, to quotes such as, “I cannot tell you how much this means to me today.” Our caregivers were absolutely touched. The reception from business owners in town seemed equally extraordinary. We are deeply appreciative for all of your efforts and hard work on this program. I know it was extensive. On behalf of our Mercy family please take this note as a measure of true and genuine impact.

Lexie Stetson-Lee, Mercy Health Foundation


We’ve partnered with Mercy Regional Medical Center, Centura Health, and several local restaurants to get this project off the ground.  In the coming weeks, we’ll look at expanding further across La Plata County to support other healthcare workers as funding allows and also add to the list of local restaurants participating in the program. We are excited to expand this now to the Durango Fire Protection District as a thank you for all they do for us!

Thank You Donors!

Durango Land & Homes ($10,000)
Premier Vacation Rentals Group ($10,000)
Animas Surgical Hospital ($1,500)
Mercy Regional Medical Center ($20,000)
Gwendolyn and Joan Fund
The Wells Group of Durango
City of Durango
Land Title Guarantee Company
Bank of Colorado
Ore House
Colorado Restaurant Association



Are you a restaurant that wants to join the program?

If you are a La Plata County independent restaurant wanting to participate, please fill out our “Restaurant Partner Pledge” and we will be in contact with you shortly to welcome you to the team. If you have any questions please email Blaine Bailey at


We were inspired by this amazing effort in San Francisco by Frank Barbieri and Ryan Sarver, now nationally known as Frontline Foods.


Participating Restaurants



With hope, love, and gratitude,

Truett ‘Blaine’ Bailey, Restaurant Partner and Logistics Coordinator
Director – In the Weeds

Ryan Lowe, Founder and Restaurant Consultant
Co-owner – Ore House Restaurant

Christina Rinderle, Fundraising Chair
Co-owner – Durango Land and Homes

Chris Bettin, Program Manager
Co-owner – Durango Land and Homes

Monique DiGiorgio, Donations Administrator
Executive Director – Local First Foundation

Emily Bell, Business Liaison
Managing Director – Local First

Jessika Buell, Logistics and Delivery
Founder – Lucky Services