Agriculture, Food, Land Protection

Feed the Frontlines Marin

May 14, 2020

Nourishing Essential Workers While Supporting Local Restaurants and MALT Producers

As Tamalpais High School senior Kylie Frame witnessed the sudden and devastating effects of COVID-19 unfold in Marin and across the country, she was eager to find a way to help. But like so many around the world adapting to life while sheltering in place, she was unsure where to begin. How could she show support to those on the frontlines in Marin while adhering to physical distancing guidelines? And what could she do that would have real impact in her community?

When family friends and restaurant owners in New York City alerted Kylie to Feed the Frontlines New York, she felt a surge of inspiration. With a digital crowdfunding platform, a strong grassroots organizing effort and generous community donations, restaurants throughout New York were preparing meals for healthcare and other essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic, keeping restaurant staff employed and operations sustained in the process. This was a project, Kylie realized, that could nourish essential workers with healthy, hearty meals while helping to save Marin’s vibrant restaurant industry in a time of significant economic distress. And as a Marin County native, Kylie also knew that a Feed the Frontlines in Marin would be about something equally important to Marin’s community, economy and heritage: local agriculture. 

If participating restaurants were dedicated to sourcing from Marin agriculturalists, she thought, Feed the Frontlines Marin could support three sectors of the community as each responded and adapted to COVID-19.

With the help of family and friends, Kylie looked to Marin restaurateur Ged Roberston, owner and general manager of Watershed restaurant, Bootjack Wood Fired restaurant and Shoreline Coffee Shop, as a potential partner. Known for showcasing local meats, cheeses and produce on his menus, Ged offered his enthusiastic support for Kylie’s idea and Feed the Frontlines Marin started to take shape. 

“As a high school senior who has grown up in Mill Valley, I wanted to do something to give back and say ‘thanks’ to the people helping to keep us safe and healthy, as well as support the local restaurants and farms,” Kylie said. “We partnered with Ged Robertson not only because we love his restaurants but because of his passion for sourcing locally. I like to think of it as a win-win-win. Farm-to-Table to Frontlines!”

Kylie and Shoreline Coffee Shop Manager, Sammy, prepare the first delivery for Feed the Frontlines Marin.

As more of Marin’s farm-to-table eateries signed on to participate — BŌL Superfood Café, Flour Craft Bakery, Mon Reve Chocolate Studio and Juice Girl — Feed the Frontlines Marin was ready to start cooking. Each of the participating restaurants, cafés and coffee shops in the group is dedicated to using local ingredients, many from MALT-protected farms and ranches. Watershed uses MALT-protected Stemple Creek Ranch grass-fed beef in their fan-favorite burger, for example. And many of the restaurants regularly use Tomales Farmstead Creamery and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company cheeses, both produced on MALT-protected farmland, Straus Family Creamery dairy products and seasonal vegetable offerings from Table Top Farm on MALT-protected Black Mountain Ranch and County Line Harvest on MALT-protected Dolcini Red Hill Ranch. 

With the help of Ged Roberston’s son Quincy, right, Kylie packs freshly prepared meals at Shoreline Coffee Shop for a delivery through Feed the Frontlines Marin.

With the generous support of individuals throughout our community, more than $48,000 has been raised on the Feed the Frontlines Marin crowdfunding site to date, and more than 3,000 meals and fresh juices have been delivered to Marin County hospitals, grocery stores, refuse centers, emergency pop-up childcare centers, San Quentin State Prison staff, pharmacies and Marin City Frontliners. And Kylie and her team aren’t stopping any time soon. They hope to raise a total of $60,000 to say thank you to essential workers, supporting our local restaurants, farmers and ranchers in the process. 

Learn more at  https://donorbox.org/feed-the-frontlines-marin.

Many of the Feed the Frontlines Marin participating restaurants, cafés and coffee shops are also offering curbside pick up and direct-to-consumer delivery. Find a full list of Marin and Sonoma eateries and food and beverage producers currently offering curbside pick up and delivery at Edible Marin & Wine County's local food guide.